POLONIUS: What do you read, my lord?
HAMLET: Words, words, words.
POLONIUS: What is the matter, my lord?
HAMLET: Between who?
There’s a whole lot of sarcasm in this 17-word exchange. The castle is in a crisis, the Prince’s mental state is uncertain, and the King’s elderly aide tries to calm the tension with a bit of small talk, querying the Prince about the book he’s reading. When Polonius asks “What is the matter, my lord?” he’s inquiring as to the plot of the book. But Hamlet pretends to misunderstand the question, and his cutting reply — “Between who?” — brings the conversation out of the ethereal realm of books and into the present moment. Where, of course, plenty is the matter.
Words, words, words. This scene really doesn’t have anything to do with what I want to write about today, except to say that, like the melancholy Prince, I have been a little out of sorts. I haven’t really felt motivated to write on this blog, other than my weekend philosophy posts (which I have a great time with). Other than that, I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth.
Part of the problem is that, even though I’ve been keeping up my steady reading, it’s been history, philosophy, psychology … everything but fiction, and not even close to poetry. Perhaps I’m still suffering a bit from that Reality Hunger that was going around last year. Or you could just say I’ve got a bad case of “what’s the point?”
But I’m a lucky blogger, because I’ve been able to reach out to my wonderful gang of contributors for the past few weeks and keep the site as lively as ever. In the past three weeks we’ve heard from five different voices who each reflect unique facets of the literary interests of this site. Garrett Kenyon writes about transgressive themes, literature’s dark and violent side, Claudia Moscovici about pop culture and intellectual trends, Mike Norris about our great Modernist and Bohemian literary tradition, Dedi Felman about the delicate art of screenwriting for popular audiences (another installment of this series is coming later this week), Alan Bisbort about two topics that are always evergreen around this joint, the Beat Generation and New York City. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of contributors. I’ve also got some more good new and familiar voices ready to spring on you next.
I know I’ll have to get back into the blogging rhythm myself too, of course, and I think I will soon … as soon as I figure out how to remind myself what the point is. I know there’s one in there somewhere. Was I doing this to please myself? To please all of you? I can’t remember. Till I find my bearings again, thanks for your patience and your trust. Words, words, words …