On Blogrolls

I notice today (or perhaps it was yesterday by now) that one of our

most discerning and enlightened brethren has had the foresight (or was it the folly) to add me to their

blogroll. Naturally this news elates me, for naturally I take it as an affirmation that there might after all be something worthwhile in this business

of ranting into the air, which frankly I was beginning to doubt. – Yes, there I stand, proud of my non-capitalised first letter (like a modern day e e

cummings) among a list of litblogs I’ve for a long time admired from afar but whose opinions I’ve rarely thought myself worthy to disparage. To have

my name alongside such sites as The Literary Saloon and Three Percent, whose php-generated pages I’ve visited religiously each

day for years (or, at least, for as long as they’ve been around – which in the case of the latter isn’t so long, I suppose) – to be included with

these luminaries, it cannot but give one a sense of gratification – perhaps as much as one day I will wander into a bookshop and see there a book of

mine, next to Isherwood or (if he has fallen much further from grace by that time) Ishiguro, but whichever at least somewhere near Joyce (perhaps on

the same shelf, who knows, unless he’s been hived off into classics by then? – but what’s that: you say he’s there already – I don’t believe you)

– and I will open that book of mine and read a small excerpt and chuckle to myself and put it back again.

Yes, I’ve looked along blogrolls

before, as we all have, searching to see if my name’s been added, to see if anyone’s seen fit to acknowledge the worthiness of our desperate,

insomniac ramblings, to see if we’ve been recognised by those we wish to recognise us, and finding of course that, no, it hasn’t and only about

twenty people have visited our site that day in any case and even those twenty are probably bots trawling the web aimlessly, without much of the

exegetic intent we were hoping for in our visitors – it would be too much to believe these statistics were the rectangular residue of human

individuals; take too great a leap of faith to believe that people came, let alone came back. But now at last we have this acknowledgement and we

feel, like the author whose work has just been accepted, that we’ve made it. (Which, of course, we haven’t).

(So, I beg you, divine

blogroller, don’t remove me now from your blogroll – since you only added me, I can tell, because I was reviewing a whole load of foreign books,

which I’ve now squeezed into a single page to replace it with this drivel. For if I am reprieved, I shall review a whole lot of books you’ve never

read by authors you’ve never heard of. – No, seriously. The stuff so far is nothing – everyone’s read these writers. – But right now, for instance,

I’m reading a book by Kálmán Mikszáth who I’m sure you’ve never read since, despite being one of Hungary’s greatest writers, his books have only

ever been translated into English once – I think – by Corvina Press, in the early 70s. – And I’ve got others too; I’ve got many, many others, and

I’ll write reviews just so that at those lovely literary parties you no doubt attend you can say, “Ah yes, but have you ever read any Aleksis Kivi?”

– and they won’t have, I assure you).


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