Friday, April 10, 2009

Read Red six months on

I've been meaning for a couple weeks now to do a status report, on the occasion of having been blogging here for six months. There seems to be too much strain on my brain at the moment, though, to clear a space to think through what I want to say. Which is something about how this endeavor has evolved. How it's less of a lark and more of a responsibility. Which doesn't mean it isn't still fun. It is, sometimes even great fun. But I take it seriously, too, more than I might have predicted at the start. In part this is because it is, if I dare make such a claim, unique. As far as I know there isn't another blog written by a worker who's also a writer who's also a reader who's not an academic but rather who's an activist, a communist in fact, who's attempting to take a look at the intersection of literature and politics from the vantage point of the working-class struggle. It's not an easy assignment. I'm going to keep trying to get it right. And as soon as I do have the opportunity I'm going to assay once again some commentary about the core questions that motivated me to start this blog up in the first place, questions about who writes, who and what gets published, what role the arts and in particular literature play in capitalist society.

All this left lit blogging may be, to what extent I'll probably never know, to my peril as a writer seeking publication. The more I spout off about the bourgeois arts establishment the less luck I'll no doubt have of getting a fair read from same. I care less and less. True, there are still days when I tear my hair out and curse and stamp my feet as I read the latest profile of some rich young blond with a high-cost MFA and connections up the wazoo whose po-mo novel of middle-class druggy angst just got snatched up for a high-five-figure advance. I admit it. I'm human, I live in this society. But more and more I find myself leaving all that behind, and just getting on with the writing. It may even be that blogging is helping me focus on the work. Here I can blow off steam--although I hope this is more than an exercise in self-indulgence. Here, usually on my lunch break during my working day, I can explore the class complications of a writing and reading life. Then there, at my writing desk at home, I can live that life.

One more note, for now. When I started Read Red I had no idea whether anyone would ever actually read it. Well, what do you know? Somebody, a good deal more than one somebody, does. Many of those who find their way here do so after googling this or that writer or book and finding my post on the subject. Others via links kindly posted on other blogs. Once or twice, or, who knows, maybe more, my left angle has been the subject of attack, generating many hits. On the other side, our side, I hope and assume, I've picked up a bit of a steady readership, which is a lovely surprise. Keep checking in. I'll keep reading red.