In 2016 I wrote a couple of posts on lists of writers whose work survives or is best known in fragments, who could even be imagined as the precursors of bloggers.
Republishing blogs as books
The focus of my writing attention over the last couple of weeks has been on editing a collection of my blog posts that I will publish as books.I don't know how common it is to republish blogs as books, if in edited and curated form. It seems little different to me to the many collections of oped, short essays, book reviews and occasional pieces that do get published quite often.
A New Direction for the Burning Archive
I am going to approach the blog with the advice of "document, don't create" that I saw on popular vlogger on youtube, Ali Abdaal. For periods of the last ten years the blog has been my primary creative outlet. But that is now changing. I have my books in preparation, my podcast, my poems and my essays. And driving all of that my restless curiosity about how to save culture and history from the flames. So I am going to use the blog as the platform for all of those aspects of my author life.
Donne’s sermons and the blogging tradition
Today, 31 March, is the feast day for John Donne in the Anglican and Lutheran denominations and commemorates the metaphysical poet and reluctant priest's death in 1631. In honour of this intriguing figure, whose poetry and prose I wish to read more of, I am reposting a post from September 2016. It speaks of the... Continue Reading →
Fragments from my diaries – the year in review
Throughout the year I have kept a diary in a an A5 black notebook of 200 pages or so. I have followed this practice for quite some years now, and when I write the first entry in the notebook will give it a title. This year's notebooks I titled , "The view from Thucydides Tower"... Continue Reading →
The kaleidoscope of 2020: year in review
A tradition that I have embraced on this blog over the last few years has been to write year in review posts in December. In 2019 I reflected on walking through the desert, notes on my reading, the democratic rebuff to progressivism, and walking through the circles of hell. In 2018 I reflected on ambiguous... Continue Reading →
A solution to political decay: the ordinary virtues of governing well
I am reposting this reflection on the response to political decay in the midst of the constitutional crisis under way in America, which reveals dramatically the rot in America's institutions and elites. Over the next weeks I want to focus on some long-term writing projects outside the blog and so will mostly be reposting some... Continue Reading →
An interlude on Solzhenitsyn
Prophets are despised in their own country, and now and then I am tempted deeply by Cassandra's fate. So in appreciation of true prophets and great writers, who formed my understanding of the world as a young man, here are some brief testimonies of Alexander Solzhenitsyn. "If one is forever cautious, can one remain a... Continue Reading →
On the virtue of not knowing (WordPress anniversary repost)
Today I am posting the last (for now) of my reposts from earlier, retired blogs. This post comes from 2010 and is a reflection on Vaclav Havel's thought, then still alive, and comment on the defeat of the masters of the universe in the global financial crisis. As it happens I read Havel's famous long... Continue Reading →
My wordpress 11th anniversary retrospective: 3 dilemmas of government
I am continuing my blogging retrospective today by reposting a small think-piece from The Happy Pessimist blog. If I have done my digital erasure correctly, you will not find any record of this blog online. I wrote it using the avatar pseudonym of Antonio Possevino, a Jesuit priest, diplomat and missionary of the 16th century.... Continue Reading →
11 years with WordPress – from the archive: Good Government Starts Today
Earlier this week I got a message from WordPress that I had passed my 11th anniversary as a blogger on the platform. I began with an anonymous blog, The Happy Pessimist, which I began amidst a bout of doubts about my public service career, which led me to embrace the political essay in its new... Continue Reading →
Reflections on the emergence of Jordan B Peterson
#1 - One recent Jordan B Peterson podcast is his appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival. His interlocutor begins by asking a genuinely interesting question. How does he understand his rise through the culture not only to prominence but to a remarkable kind of phenomenon. There are many tiresome commentaries on how Dr Peterson is... Continue Reading →