Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The philosophy of the blog

Talk about pomposity... I seem to be losing my interest already: so just a summer fling, maybe. In a way that would be ideal: blogs are about broadcasting and I do disapprove myself - well, to a degree - for starting this one - or at least question myself and my motives for starting it: why should I broadcast? I suppose it would be ideal to really be scattered, to have accidental odds and ends stored here with no theme and no purpose. Not to broadcast. Would that make any sense? (As I could very easily refrain from any publicizing by stopping publicizing. Hmm. Though writing in English is great fun.) Anyway, to change the subject to something completely different, I have a strange urge to read Henry James - due no doubt to my current work trip company, the classic biography of him by Leon Edel. Strange in the sense that I have always stayed well clear of James being easily, too easily, bored, and those sentences do go on. But there seems to be a burning intensity in him, a burning purpose - based on Edel anyway, so maybe I should try: with the holiday coming there would finally be time for meaningful things instead of IT industry things. A very pleasant thought.


helsinkian said...

Henry James is a brilliant writer. Every page is proof of the best kind of literary craftsmanship. Yet I have managed to read only one of his novels, The Ambassadors. The first time I tried reading the novel I just got stuck every few pages and gave up. When I some years later took up the book again I really felt it was worth the effort, not least thanks to the beautiful English language. I have bought two other novels of his and certainly, when I feel I have time for them, I'm very curious to read more of his stuff.

Another Henry that was a pleasant reading experience for me was Henry Adams. I read his essay Mont St. Michel & Chartres. I wasn't at all into medieval French church architecture before his book but Adams really changed the way I look at old churches. There is something very charming about great American writers fascinated with France, or Europe in general. Adams really crosses over the boundaries of genre in that book and the result is a multi-faceted work of art.

By the way, I think this blog is very valuable even if you use it as a reading diary of sorts. You really have an eye for writers who have put effort on their English language; celebrating stuff like that on a blog is a very good idea.

stockholm slender said...

As it happens, I have an unread copy of The Ambassadors in my bookshelf... That's what I'm intending to begin. But it would not be the first time that I have tried. Somehow I get the idea that James is an "obscurantist" writer, that the structure and rhythm text is far too complicated to make sense and that his point of view is intensely narrow. No doubt I'm wrong but it has been very hard going. Well, now I'm certainly intrigued by him and will make the effort. A nice prospect!