Monday, December 17, 2007

Thank You

Praise is sweet. Thank you, David. And true, I have not yet figured out a way to make money from this blog, though, to be sure, it has not been without rewards of other kinds.

My friends at nonfiction.fr seem to read The New Republic. They think I've become a bit "Sarko-centré." One does in fact face a dilemma in writing topical commentary on politics when one's instincts and training suggest that what matters is deep structures and long-term trends. I try to pay attention to those things in the blog as well, but the medium of instant commentary is also an opportunity to ponder the more ephemeral factors of personality, energy, the ebb and flow of popular interest--the passionate side of politics, which will always be a matter of the heart and gut as well as the head.

5 comments:

Gregory Brown said...

And thanks for catering to your most assiduous readers, too.

I think one of the most effective elements of your writing is that it doesn't endlessly repeat what we knew already about the story, as mainstream journalists feel they must.

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Thanks, Greg
I wish I could claim special credit for trusting my readers to know the backstory to the narrative of the moment, but when you're doing what David Bell rightly calls un travail bénévole, you have to take certain shortcuts. And while I no doubt could explain, for example, that BHL means "Bernard-Henri Lévy," would that identification really convey what the letters signify? Indeed, it's the fact that His Highness is "famous for being famous," as someone once said of Zsa-Zsa Gabor, that gives the initials a certain zest. I could hardly begin to tell his story, or make it clear to the uninitiated Peorian what it means that the president of the Republic, the successor to Charles de Gaulle, may be about to marry the ex-mistress of BHL's pal J-P Enthoven and ex-wife of J-P's son Raphaël. Talk about liquidating the 60s--as Sarko has done. This is laminating the 60s in plexiglas and publishing as an enclosure in Closer magazine.

KJS said...

Congratulations, Art, for the well deserved words from David... And what do you think of the latest project of Edwy Plenel for a paying news spot on the web http://www.mediapart.fr/ ?

Arthur Goldhammer said...

kjs,
I commented on Plenel's project a while back:
http://artgoldhammer.blogspot.com/2007/12/18th-brumaire-of-edwy-plenel.html
In retrospect, I think I was a little uncharitable in bringing up the Péan-Cohen critique. In any case, I seriously doubt that the site will succeed. The subscription fee is too high for a publication that will be an unknown quantity. The contributors are quality journalists, but how many people are really aware of who writes what in the daily paper? I don't think reputation alone can justify such a high fee.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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