Long time readers may be aware of it, but the title of my blog is self-consciously ironic. The name came from some unpublished notes on a speech that was probably never delivered by William Blake. Its subject was the “state of the art” of the techné of engraving. It’s taken some time (I’m thick) to really have the difference between painting or drawing and engraving sink in. Engraving is publishing; drawing or painting are not necessarily publishing. Keeping a blog is publishing; keeping a diary or commonplace book are not necessarily publishing.
Notebooks don’t have settings. They don’t often have tables of contents, indices, or categories. They don’t have links or trackbacks.
Decisions are involved in this enterprise. For a long time, the front page contained a week’s worth of entries. I changed it to seven entries because the move to more graphically intensive content made the loading sluggish. Now I’ve changed it to eight. It’s not an eight day week, but with spending five days a week on campus, it seems as if the weeks this year have been longer. I’m regaining some of the urgent compulsiveness I used to have. Just when I write something about silence, I have the urge to say more.
In case it hasn’t been noticed, I’ve been experimenting with making the connections between my notes here more explicit through trackbacks. I think they provide a nice trail of crumbs between my lapses in attention span in a looser fashion than categories. Since the blogging “public” has largely abandoned trackbacks, I decided I’d just use it to trackback myself.
Lately, I keep thinking about the difference between photographing and publishing. Some photographic enterprises are clearly publishing while others aren’t. Stereographs were most often published; tintypes, #2 Kodak snapshots, etc. were not. Cabinet cards? They seem to be a sort of vanity publishing not unlike the long tail of blogging. Swapped among friends, with a few “A-list” collectables of celebrities, CDV’s defy easy description. Just thinking . . .