Guy Savage from the blog His Futile Preoccupations has nominated this blog to participate in one of those things called “blog memes”, or “blog chain mails”, or whatever. In this, the nominated party has to:
1) tell everyone something about his or her self that nobody else knows
2) link to a post that fits the following categories: most beautiful piece; most helpful piece; most popular piece; most underrated piece; most pride-worthy piece; most surprisingly successful piece; most controversial piece.
3) Nominate 7 other bloggers to participate – presumably having ensured that they have not already been nominated by some other blogger
OK, let’s get started.
1) Firstly, something about me that no-one knows, and, obviously, one that I feel appropriate to reveal on this blog: in my spare time, I enjoy having a go at translating poems by Rabindranath Tagore from Bengali into English. This is not in expectation of publication – let alone fame or fortune – but because I enjoy the immersion in Tagore’s poetry that this exercise involves; and also because in attempting to arrange words on a page in order to create something that may be read as a poem in English, I find myself gaining insights into the nature of poetry itself that I don’t think I would have had merely as a reader.
2) Most beautiful post: I don’t know that any of my writing is notable for “beauty” – however one defines it – but the occasional post in which I allow myself to be nostalgic about my childhood years – such as this one – has associations for me personally for which the word “beautiful” is perhaps not misapplied. Even when it is about Dracula.
Most helpful post: Some years before I started on this blog, I had, on an internet book group that has since become defunct, led a group read of War and Peace; and since I still had on my hard disk the detailed part-by-part synopses I had written, I thought I’d put them up here. The number of hits these posts get, as well as some mails I have received on them, indicate that they have been of some help.
Most popular post: According the the statistics, my musings on Wuthering Heights and Romanticism has had the most hits. I wonder if I should revise this in light of my having changed my mind on certain matters since I wrote this.
Most controversial piece: Given that I frequently use this blog to have a rant about something or other, I am frankly surprised how uncontroversial this blog is, on the whole. But I suppose this post, in which I have a go at certain types of genre writing and at claims made by certain genre writers, aroused a fair bit of controversy.
Most surprisingly successful piece: In one of my above-mentioned rants, I made some quite intemperate comments about the importance of teaching literature in schools. Now, I am certainly no educationalist, and I certainly hadn’t expected, at the time of writing this post, that it would beCome one of the most popular in terms of hits.
Most underrated piece: This entire blog started because, to celebrate (if “celebrate” is the word I am looking for) my 50th year, i decided to read through all of Shakespeare’s plays; and, once I had done that, I found I had written copious notes on each of those plays, purely for my own personal reference. It was then I decided it might be a good idea to polish them up a bit, and stick them all up on a blog somewhere. These Shakespeare posts I thought would be the centrepiece of this blog, but they get very few hits. The post on Othello, especially, I remember spending quite a bit of time on – although, as ever, when I re-read it, I feel I haven’t succeeded in saying all I wanted to say.
Most pride-worthy piece: I suppose it’s this one on Joyce’s Ulysses, in which I think I did manage to say most of what I wanted to say.
3) And now to pick 7 others. So, in no particular order, here they are (they’re not all literary ones):
The problem with putting together lists is that one has to leave so many out! If any of these bloggers have been nominated already, please do let me know, and I’ll revise my list accordingly.
But thanks for nominating me, Guy: it’s been great fun!