A mission statement, of sorts

In this blog, I will write my thoughts about literature.  That’s it.

This will include thoughts on books as I’m reading them for the first time, though more often than not I expect I’ll be discussing works I’ve already read; what impressions occurred to me when I first encountered them, and which occur as I revisit. 

If there’s a model for the kind of writing I’ll be doing, it’s the book “Shakespeare” by Mark Van Doren.  In it, Van Doren writes a handful of pages about every Shakespeare play, without any excess of historical context or critical theory.  It does not shoulder the common critical burden of “making a point” so much as it offers him a forum to muse and reflect.  Most of all, it’s an occasion for him to tell us how much he loves these plays, and why he loves them.  His enjoyment is contagious, and reading his book feels worthwhile for the mere pleasure that the act affords.  Perhaps, at certain times throughout my writings, I’ll approach the grand task of “making a point”, but only incidentally; as with Van Doren, I’m more concerned with sharing, and accounting for, my fondness for certain writers and their works. 

In the way of disclaimers:  I’ll be discussing Henry James to a disproportionate extent, and beginning many, many sentences with “and” and “but”.  If this kind of writing is not “for you”, well then you can go to Hell.

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