Blogging an Essay
Since I am at least nominally studying for a Master’s in Political Thought & Intellectual History, I have to write the occasional long essay and/or thesis. This requires research, which can be tedious (one realization I have come to in the course of studying for this Master’s is that I may not possess the necessary temperament to be an academic historian—but of that, more later).
Analysis happens to be more fun than research, but it often has to wait until the end of the essay-writing process—that is, the actual writing. It struck me that it might be an entertaining experiment to blog as I research, thereby getting some analysis in as I go.
To begin, I should tell you that I’m writing on the Idea of the Great Books, which is a surprisingly under-explored subject. People have spent so much time defending and attacking the Western Canon that they haven’t had time to stop and ask where the idea that this Canon existed came from. Even Harold Bloom, who claims merely to analyze the Canon rather than knock it down or prop it up, presumes that there exists a Canon to be analyzed, knocked down, or propped up. There does, of course, and Bloom acknowledges that it had to be invented, but he doesn’t seem particularly interested in who invented it, and when, and why.
I am. I hope you are, too. Let’s see what we find.