A Fresh Beginning

Martin Parr

Bored Couple

Two and a half years after starting Time’s Flow Stemmed on Blogger, after much experimentation, I migrated to WordPress. Besides some difficulties that visitors reported about lost comments, Blogger served me satisfactorily, but there are several features (such as better templates, nested categories, easier domain management) at WordPress that tempted me. The migration was mostly painless.

This blog’s first incarnation (originally called Bridge to Kappa) opened with the following Sartre quotation:

On the one hand, the literary object has no substance but the reader’s subjectivity … But on the other hand, the words are there like traps to arouse our feelings and to reflect them towards us … the work exists only at the exact level of his [the reader] capacities; while he reads and creates, he knows that he can always further in his reading, can always create more profoundly, and thus the work seems to him as inexhaustible … Thus the writer appeals to the reader’s freedom to collaborate in the production of his work.

My first blog post ended with the sentence, “It is my hope to participate in a conversation about literature, narrative style and meaning, about how to read more profoundly and to discover fresh sources of inspiration”. Have I been able to meet this goal? Partly yes, due to the fellow bloggers I have exchanged views and comments with, mostly listed on my blogroll. But there is also frustration. The blogging software that we use, our limited time as amateurs (mostly), and in my case a frequent struggle to find critical vocabulary to voice my thoughts and emotions about what I am reading, encourages fragments of conversation, rushed posts. Rather than stimulating a leisurely fireside conversation (there are, of course, exceptions), blogging (tweeting exacerbates the challenge) often feels like snatched chitchat over a garden fence. Or worse: a monologue.

The blogging mission that ended my first post is as relevant today. I am not, nor intend to be, a book reviewer. Time’s Flow Stemmed is a vehicle to enable conversations about literature, to allow my inner voice to express thoughts and emotions about the books I read, and to try to understand your thoughts and emotions about what you read.

If you’ve taken the trouble to update your readers and blogrolls, I offer my since thanks, and look forward to continuing and developing the conversation.