Monday, July 26, 2004

And I Can't Jump Either

Just when I conclude that this blog is just so much wanking -- at least in terms of driving my scholarly agenda during this my sabbatical year -- I say, whoaboy! From this activity come insights like rain in the desert, infrequent but precious.

The two preceding posts, sodden as they are with death, suffering and "the still sad music of  humanity, nor harsh nor grating though of ample power to chasten and subdue," remind me that rhythm is always a problem for the columnist. By that I mean, my impression is that if you are a general interest columnist, you must vary your topics. You must have a range of interests. You can't strike one note over and over, not over the long haul.

Political columnists can, I suppose: Paul Krugman is indignant with Bush day after day and god bless him for it. But even George Will has the occasional reminiscence or baseball column. I'm guessing that every columnist is aware of the problem, even if he or she chooses to trod in the familiar furrow. I'm thinking it's an issue about which the columnist makes a conscious decision.

If I expand my notion of rhythm to include variation of any kind, then changes in tone or in mode of presentation would count, too. It's a good idea to explore. Indeed, this column -- this brief, jaunty apologia -- is itself an exercise in rhythm.

Different length?  Check.

Different tone? Check.

Liberal use of links? Check.

Effort to seal my heart to the inquiring reader, feeling just a little embarrassed by my previous navel-gazing? Check. Check. Check.

1 comment:

Daphilia said...

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