Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another Year, Another Blog

 (i) Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one.
-- George Orwell, “Why I Write” (1946)

I may be quite late to the game, but I decided for the New Year that now would be as good a time as any to start a blog.  Mostly I wanted to find a way to get myself in the habit of writing regularly, and to provide a venue for that writing.  So, I will be using this space to post essays on cultural issues – “cultural” in so many different senses – both ancient and modern: material culture, anthropological culture, pop culture, “high” culture, and more.  I hope to combine detailed studies of specific artifacts, or works of music, or film, with consideration of their wider historical and cultural perspectives – to write on “texts” and “contexts”.  In the process, I hope to use this blog to talk a little about myself, since all acts of writing do indeed have some sort of selfish motives lying partly behind them.  (You can read more about me and my writing here.)

I do hope there will be some interest in what I have to say, some niche that these writings can fill, and I would love to be able to start some productive conversations with readers on these issues.  To adapt a quote of the brilliant writer-director of film Preston Sturges: There are so many good essays waiting to be written, and God willing, I will be able to write a few of them.

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