Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On Contrapuntal Blogging

I came to "content" blogging through sports. My models for writing blogs were sports blogs, and my own sports blog is still where I put in the most work (and get the most readers). When I started Costanza Book Club, it was because I still had ideas I wanted to express about books and ideas. This was meant to be a place to unload some ideas, start some discussions, provide some links to things of a literary nature. I had never read another blog about literature before starting writing here, so I largely used my experience sports-blogging as a model of tone (which is why I don't think I've ever reached the level of formality and focus I see on some of the better lit blogs).

But I also started this blog with the explicit intent of writing contrapuntally. It is a style of writing that was encouraged by one of my grad school professors, Don Ringnalda (sadly, he recently died of cancer). Broadly speaking, this means writing with a willingness to jump around, to make unexpected connections, to explore different subjects around a central theme in a very free way. It is a form of writing that can bring about unique insights.

Blogging is a good medium for contrapuntal writing, in my opinion: the free form and the personal nature encourage it. Mention of a book I'm reading can lead to comparisons with other books, a connection to a theory, a TV show, a film, a relevant current event, or my own peculiar religious, social, political, or ethical ideas. It's not meant to be rambling or broad--it's meant to be an open exploration, following the threads where they may go.

Even as I tried this in earlier blog posts, I don't think I was always terribly successful. I don't find in my archives great models of contrapuntal writing. There's an openness to making connections, a willingness to follow a thought in peculiar ways, but I think I can do better.

So, in general dissatisfaction with this blog, I'm going to recommit to writing contrapuntally here. I hope it provides me with more satistfaction in my writing, and provides a challenge to my writing and thinking. Maybe it will make the blog more interesting, maybe not. But it will provide my blogging here with more purpose.

1 comment:

  1. Here's one reader looking forward to the results. I think you are right that the medium is an appropriate one. It's sort of something I wish I did more of with my own blog as well, but I find in general one of the hard things about blogging is sticking with a vision without getting too stuck.

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