Monday, February 19, 2007

Prolegomena, and Declaration of Principals

Chesterton, I believe, wrote that every writer should justify the existence of each book they write. I feel this should be the case with blogs as well, and particularly blogs authored by myself, because I have started a number of blogs (somewhere between 2 and 4) with mixed results. Those friends who know me best are likely to greet each new idea and project I undertake with--a more than justified--look of doubt and pity, an ironic smile, a good natured eye roll. These friends have on their side all the advantage of inductive reasoning. So it goes. But still I can't help starting new projects and spinning off new ideas, and here we go again. But, further, I must justify this blog because in the past I stopped blogging not only out of fickleness and laziness, but also because of some things I've written on blogs that I have regretted. Further, I am of two minds about blogging (and the Internet in general, actually): at times I am completely annoyed by blogs and at other times I profit by them and feel like writing them myself. In the same way, I am sometimes turned off to poetry when I pick up a copy of the New Yorker, but then I eventually open a volume by T. S. Eliot, or Denise Levertov, and I suddenly love poetry again.

My only justification for writing this blog is that I have failed as a diarist but I need to write, that my writing has slipped since I stopped writing, although to be honest I have never been much of a prose stylist. My intention here is to blog within the following boundaries:

1. I will confine myself to topics like literature and poetry, and in particular Russian literature (as a simple non-academic, only a few steps above philistine), the spiritual life from the point of view of an Orthodox Christian laymen (avoiding as much as possible theological polemics and debates, which I no longer have the stomach for and am unqualified for anyway), thoughts on the books I am reading, on the art I go look at, the music I hear, and perhaps the films I view. Perhaps I will throw in an occasional thought or joke, story or poem, or idea.

2. I will try not to write about politics (unless Israel or the US starts a new war, and then I might not be able to restrain myself!) or indulge in self-revelations: no one wants to hear about my personal life, and I am not so mean as to force it on anyone.

3. I will try to keep shameless self-promotion to a minimum.

4. I will try to only write when I write, and not wander about like a spy looking for things to write about, moments to steal.

5. I tend to use more commas then I ought. I apologize in advance.

So begins a new blog. Good morning.

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