I’ve decided it would be fun to set a goal of trying to read every volume in the Library of America (there are currently 233 volumes), and blog about them as I go. It’s unlikely I will ever finish, but one never hurt oneself by setting ambitious goals.
I’ve decided to do this for a few reasons. The main one is probably the fact that I love American culture. That’s not necessarily a popular position amongst your cohort of run-of-the-mill Europhile academics, but I find that usually amongst my favorites in any particular genre– art, music, literature, film, whatever- are works that feel particularly American. The Coen brothers and Robert Altman in film, minimalism and jazz in music, the Sopranos on television, etc.
The second reason is that I thought it would be fun to exercise my non-job related writing and reading chops. So much of the blogging I do is work related, and it always involves a degree of internal self management. Is what I’m writing building my academic and digital brand? Is it related to a big intellectual project I’m working on? Am I contradicting some incredibly nuanced point I made earlier? All these mental calculations go into decisions to write a blog post. At least, they go into mine.
But what’s the internet for if not to be able to write about whatever you want whenever you want? So don’t expect deep insight here; I’m not an English major, and I barely read fiction at all. But I think it will be fun, at least.
A few more things: I rarely ever get the chance to read one book at once, because of the nature of my job. So don’t expect this to be some incredibly quick spin through the LOA. I mean, there could be months or even longer between posts. Which means, like I said, I’ll probably never finish. But consider this slow-blogging. We are hear for the long haul.
Anyway- this will be fun.