Seven Years In The Dream Antilles
The seventh anniversary of this blog, The Dream Antilles, is on August 3, 2008. This is, believe it or not, the 1,372nd post.
Most of what I wrote on this blog's third anniversary, in 2008, remains true today, even if the tone seems, well, a bit too sanguine:
What began as a way to promote my vastly underselling 2005 novel, The Dream Antilles, morphed first into a lit blog, and then took on aspects of a political blog, and finally blossomed into an eccentric collection of commentaries on whatever strikes me as something I would enjoy writing about.
When I initially began, I hoped there would be tons of comments on my essays. There aren't. In fact, there are hardly any comments at all. But I know that I'm not the unheard vox clamatis in deserto because there are... web counters [showing a few hundred views per week]. Let me put this in perspective. Some blogs receive more than 10,000 page views in an hour. Those who read this blog around the world are far, far fewer. But they are nevertheless readers to whom I owe my thanks for reading and my appreciation when they bookmark the site and when they return, even if they generally don't leave comments...
Why do I keep on writing? You could ask as well why I keep on breathing. It's something I do. Unlike many of my favorite writers, Garcia Marquez, Roberto Bolano, Ricardo Piglia, I don't live in a place where there is an established, literary cafe culture. I can't go out this evening to my favorite cafe and find the other writers with whom I've been hanging out to discuss my latest ideas. Or theirs. So in a way, The Dream Antilles is a kind of substitute for that interaction. It's something that I do even though I'm working on another novel. Blogging is like a conversation that can always be resumed.
Will I continue? Of course.
But, alas, sometimes I'm not quite as sure of things as I was back in 2008. Not nearly. Just look at 2011's Anniversary post, written in the third person:
Your Bloguero believes you are reading this. He doesn’t know for sure that you are here. Actually, he has no idea whether you’re reading or how many readers have visited. Or who has read what. Or when. Why? In a moment of self righteous indignation several years ago, your Bloguero deleted all the web counters. Good riddance, he said. “I’m doing this whether or not anybody reads it,” he announced pompously. Later, much later your Bloguero caved in to his own curiosity about you. Were you really there? Were you really reading? Of course, he wouldn’t admit that it mattered to him. So he quietly put up the map with the dots (you can still find it near the bottom of the right column) so he could see you. If you read The Dream Antilles a tiny dot appears where you are and it stays there for a while. Your Bloguero still likes the dots, particularly when people of every continent visit. Other than that small reassurance that you are there, your Bloguero writes The Dream Antilles on the faith that you read it. This faith is not rock solid. Far from it. Sometimes your Bloguero has towering doubts. He imagines that he might be standing on the pitcher’s mound in a completely empty Yankee Stadium making believe the seats were filled with people paying rapt attention to him and laughing at his jokes and understanding what he is telling them. Sometimes your Bloguero doesn’t care that all the seats might be empty and that newspapers are blowing around in the infield and that the PA system is turned off and pigeons are swooping in from the eves. Banishing the emptiness from his consideration, your Bloguero declaims that the blog is a writing practice. And your Bloguero is another Eveready Bunny. He does it for himself, he says. Really? You ask. Yes, sure, and your Bloguero’s obvious vanity? Hah! Your Bloguero never claimed he was so perfect. So free from doubt.
Thank you for visiting. And thank you for reading.
And so begins my eighth year in the Dream Antilles. I'm aware that there are zillions of blogs, many of which have been abandoned, and that in the age of Facebook and Twitter (@thedavidseth), a blog may be more like outmoded music cassettes, VHS cassettes, LP records and Betamax machines than I care to admit. An antique. A relic. A fossil. No matter. I continue. For now. And I hope you will continue to return.
Thanks for seven great years.