Wednesday, February 05, 2014

`A Throb of Pleasure in His Heart'

“The uses of blogging are many,” says one of the best in the business. Let me count the ways:

1. Blog posts are aids to memory, a way to preserve thought like unfortunate insects in amber.

2. Writing clarifies thought. The act of articulation is cleansing, like a cold shower. It’s more difficult to bullshit when trying to be honest and precise in public.

3. Call it conservation. A blog post is a record of what’s going through one person’s mind on a given day. If the thought is already developing, why not fix it (in the photographic sense)?

4. Giving ensures receiving. Gifts are reciprocal. A reader I had never heard from before recently wrote to say he had never heard of Stevie Smith before reading one of my posts. He bought a collection of her poems and loved it. He reciprocated with a note of thanks.

Eight years ago today, on Feb. 5, 2006, Anecdotal Evidence emerged, shaky and uncertain, from its shell. On that first day, when even “work-in-progress” sounded over-confident, I announced its arrival with an excerpt from Hazlitt’s 1822 essay “The Fight”:

“…we agreed to adjourn to my lodgings to discuss measures with that cordiality which makes old friends like new, and new friends like old, on great occasions. We are cold to others only when we are dull in ourselves, and have neither thoughts nor feelings to impart to them. Give a man a topic in his head, a throb of pleasure in his heart, and he will be glad to share it with the first person he meets.” 

Welcome to my lodgings. Pardon the occasional dullness. Pull up closer to the fire. What would you like to talk about?

8 comments:

Guy Walker said...

Are blogs a place for new art or are they too discursive, too fleeting to be a repository for the enduring? Or can they be whatever you want them to be? Just curious.

Ian Wolcott said...

Congratulations on the anniversary, Mr Kurp. Anecdotal Evidence has been my morning reading almost every day for the last five or six years now. Thank you for the conversation.

Tony said...

Congratulations and thanks. You have been my first stop every morning since I discovered you on September 17, 2008 here.

Nige said...

Congratulations Patrick - here's to the next eight years...

John Trotman said...

A relative newcomer, I have only been visiting for six months or so, but am so pleased to have found your site. Like others, I find it a regular source of pleasure and interest. Thank you.

MMc said...

Has it been that long? I think I've been with you pretty much from the first. Seem to recall a link fromTerry Teachout? Many thanks and congratualtions!
MM

Unknown said...

Congratulations, Patrick, and more important: Thank you.

Roger Boylan said...

Happy Anniversary. If there's an essential blog for me, this is it. I also seek to be inspired by your example as I revive my own blog, in which many of the same names encountered in your posts (Beckett, Nabokov, Amis, et al.) will no doubt pop up.