Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wuthering Anniversary

One of my favorite blogs, Wuthering Expectations, is four years old today. I admit that I've not followed Amateur Reader's explorations of 19th-century literature for more that the last 10 months or so, but in that short span of time I've become rather addicted to the daily (mostly) musings about the reading life. I've also had some great fun going back through the archives at Wuthering Expectations, where there are all sorts of gems to be unearthed.

Wuthering Expectations isn't so much writing about books as it is writing about the experience of reading. There's a sort of way of life one might have that puts books pretty high on the list of priorities, and a sort of way of thinking about books one gets when reading good books is a central activity in life. Authors and people who write about books are always talking about good books you've never read (or never heard of) and so there is a lifetime of discovery and exploration open to a good reader. Over time a good reader becomes entangled in a large and ever-expanding web of connected literature, influences and responses all around him and the world of the imagination becomes a truly immense place filled with and by other smart and imaginative people. Or something. I'm just rambling and trying to give a sense, in my own poor way, of the sort of thing Wuthering Expectations does. I'm not doing a very good job of it.

Here's the thing: some people read good books and write about what that's like. Some people do it better than others. Amateur Reader will, in his charming and self-effacing way, deny that he writes well or even coherently about the reading life, but you must ignore those lies. Wuthering Expectations is a cool blog and I hope it lasts at least another four years.


  1. Well this is a pleasant thing to read! Thanks a lot.

    My hope is that some coherency accumulates over time. Not a method or even an aesthetic, but an approach - art plus life, I guess.

    Post by post, I sometimes find it odd that anyone wants to read what are really notes towards something else, something undefined.

    But then, I read, or at least look at, lots of blogs myself. Such is the nature of the form. A little note on something you just saw in a Chekhov story can turn out to be more valuable than any number of longer, gassier, vaguer pieces.

    Anyway, yeah, thanks!

  2. Yer welcome!

    I have some 16th-century Portuguese poetry at my house. Perhaps I'll read those and write about them, though I stink at understanding poetry. Where's the Portuguese Eugene Onegin? I'll read that. Wait: wrong blog for this particular comment.

    Still working on the 'death of Moby-Dick' song, though.

  3. The Portuguese Onegin, good question. I do not know of any Portuguese narrative poetry aside from The Lusiads, which is not at allOnegin-like.

    I am all for 16th century lyrics, though.