To essay or not to essay–essay is a verb as well as a noun, the same in French, the origin of the word, the origin of its meaning herein from Montaigne . . . just recall the opening essay in his oeuvre, Les Essais . . . “To philosophize is to learn how to die,” quoting Cicero, of course we have before us an English translation of Montaigne’s French translation of Cicero’s Latin, but there is something in it that hits the mark, no? What then does that mean to say that philosophizing is a preparation for death? But herein the blog’s the thing to capture the conscience of the reader? Other questions arise; how prepared am I to set forth into the forrest?
If I were another kind of man I might write an essay on blogging in my blog, or would it merely be a blog entry, and how do they differ, perhaps in the way a journal entry differs from an essay, even a personal essay–but then, aren’t journal entries personal essays of a kind, a different kind of personal essay than the literary varieties we have become used to, at least those we have called literary in our tradition of essay writing; and aren’t letters essays, but then, they too are different than blog entries thus themselves different from journal entries . . . what are we trying to say–it is we who are trying to say here, the reader completes the text? You, my hypocrite brothers and sisters. To be a blogger or not to be a blogger might be a question for another blogger to answer; I do not call myself a blogger, and I am now beginning to question where the essay begins and ends when up against the short story or flash fiction, the latter sometimes entering a grey room with the prose poem. Perhaps in this way the author is the final authority or the prime authority (which is What Levi-Strauss meant in his French when he called all First Peoples, les primitifs, the English translation of which suffered from the subtractive connotations the word has in our tongue, off our tongues . . .)
Here then are the words this other me would say if I were this other self saying something I have not yet had the inclination to say, what then must I say . . .
To blog or not to blog–here I go again; repetition becomes motif–that, in itself, another motif: the motif of motif. I have been blogging for how long now? Need I actually count? I started blogging with The October Revue, the sister view of this one; The October Revue was also called The October Literary Revue. Literary was something I thought I needed to highlight. It might still be something I need to do. I also think that there are too many intelligent people who might be put off with the inclusion of the word ‘literary,’ perhaps as pretentious. I still publish the O. R.–I might take it off line–I have not decided whether to keep it going or not. It might have run its course. I published it from 2007 to 2017, the summer of the latter, monthly or quarterly issues collected in the Pages section, an one-line literary review of essays, short stories, prose pieces of indeterminable genre, poems . . . in the blog, photos, videos (mostly video poems as I have accumulated them on YouTube . . . what more is there has there been to say? I really am not asking, another pretense . . . the revue mentioned above is now called CULTURA, revue1.wordpress.com.
Not a bad opening for what I have herein said I might do–am doing . . .
I also publish other blogs, but I do not have the time to tell you about either. I cannot pay the correct attention to either even in the managing of them. I do not keep up with all of my reviews equally, and sometimes I mange to edit one more fully, thus successfully, than the others. As of late, perhaps the last six months, I have paid most of my on-line time to this review and I am now considering making the others private. That would leave only The Falling Leaf Review, and I am okay with that. I am also considering marketing the FLR, but I am still in the initial stages of doing that.
What is more important to say? To say what a blog is or what a blog does; to be and to do, what then is the question I need to ask?
Prior to this review being named The Falling Leaf Review, it was named The Essay Review, and this is key: the principal focus of all my reviews has always been the literary essay, with extensions into the personal and the critical essay. Moreover, the essay as a form is the heart of the review, of all my reviews. Yes, essays, essays and more essays; to essay or not to essay would then be my question. Whether the topic is politics, or culture, or language, or simply social commentary–the literary essay is the form of address. Whether the essay be 250 words or 2,500 . . . the form, the style, the diction is literary. I am not herein going to venture a discussion of what the literary is or could be or has been–the literary is never has-been for me or this review.
I am not so sure of this now, but it was said then, at least at the time it was conceived it was thought to be relevant–essay, story, prose poem, what then must I say to limit these in this explication? I have used the blog format for publishing a variety of literary forms. So have many, many, many people.
Every on-line review has a blog, and the blog entries here are of a variety, either length or purpose. Sometimes, the entry is a literary essay of varying length, whether of a page or less, but sometimes one or more could extend to several or more pages; I have often, in the past, written full essays in the blog post section. There are times when a topic broached and the intention is not to essay the topic but to say something brief; however, in the course of the intended brevity, extensions are drawn, connections made, development happens, articulation deepens–an essay happens. And an essay ends where it ends how it ends whenever it ends–conclusions are merely walls to dam up the flow. These essays written in the blog section would then be transferred to the pages section where they would then be catalogued as essays belonging to one or another category as titled in the pages list.
Letters, journal entries, essays, stories, prose poems, flash fiction,what else do we have for me to say . . .
What more can I say about this review?
There is nothing else to say that reading the review would not do better to reveal.