Sep 262008

I’ve added a new main category, “Travelogue,” because it’s time to face it: I write them.

I’ve recently heard the criticism from some quarters that this blog isn’t as interesting as my old blog was because this one reveals so much less about my life than the other one did. Admittedly, that was in some ways the point in having this new blog. The last one was largely supposed to be a narrative of a certain period, peppered with intermittent stand-alone essays. Whereas this blog, by design, was always intended more to be a repository of separate essays. The problem with personal narratives is that they are just that: personal. And they get frozen in time, exposing the soul of the author long after that soul has grown and moved on. I’m not against sharing, but at this stage of my life I realize it may be advisable to do less than I had before.

Still, there may be something to be said for sharing more than I have been lately. A blog is, after all, a “web log,” not a static book, and there are worthy things to share in it reflecting the life of its author that might not be appropriate for some staid compendium of essays. Furthermore, for as much as I’m wary of undermining my ethos through oversharing, I think I can similarly undermine it through undersharing. Why should anyone be interested in my view on things unless they had some reason to find that view interesting?

It’s naturally a bit of a balance, trying to produce essays that can stand alone as their own contributions to public discourse while at the same time ensuring that my blog isn’t devoid of my own personality. Towards that end, I’ve made a new category for travelogues in order to consciously recognize them as something welcome here.

Travelogues are really nothing new for me. Since well before I started blogging I would go on these great trips and then eagerly share written accounts of them in laborious detail. I suppose there is something to be said for being more pithy and brief than I tend to be in them, but I kind of like writing these extremely thorough narratives, crammed full of every fascinating observation I managed to glean, and seeing if I can tie them together into some thematic statement. These travelogues also tend to be very personal, necessarily, because they are so tied to my own personal situation, which both informs my trip and is itself further informed by it.

Still, contained within my travelogues are often observations similar to the kind that tend to stand on their own in separate posts. This is particularly true for those observations that might otherwise have been filed in the “legal” category, had they been written separately. Indeed, the law now shapes so much of how I see and interact with the world, it’s exceedingly rare when my observations would not.

 Posted by at 7:25 am

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