Sunday, December 05, 2010

Now We Are Six

On November 30, 2004, the first post of this blog appeared. The first year or so was quite active, and coincided approximately with the birth of biblioblogging, of which this blog was one of the first. But "Ralph" has never sought, or received, any factitious badge of approval or value-ranking from the world of biblioblogging (now firmly part of the Establishment) and I now question whether my blog is a part of that increasingly self-conscious and contentious world.

The last few years have been less active, as other activities have crowded out daily, or even weekly, blogging. Most particularly, I consciously decided a while back to devote most of the time I had for writing to preparing scholarly books and articles; and, this, I think, was a wise choice.

Still, writing for "Ralph" is always one of my greatest pleasures. Looking back, I see plenty of ephemeral matter, but nothing that embarrasses me. Several of the posts have in the past developed into lectures, presentations, or articles, and some may still do so. And, as far as I know, "Ralph" is still the only blog ever to be cited in a scholarly footnote in Revue de Qumran.

This year especially has been quiet for "Ralph," although the most famous post in Ralph's history was cited in two books about Bob Dylan. One of them is Sean Wilentz's Bob Dylan in America (Doubleday, 2010), pp. 303ff. Wilentz, professor of American Studies at Princeton, cites "Ralph," without giving the URL (how rude!) or the author (how clueless!). Indeed, he appears to believe that the name "Ralph" is my pseudonym, apparently without noticing that my name and email appear (and have always appeared) right there on the blog.

The other citation is in Alessandro Carrera, "Oh, the Streets of Rome: Dylan in Italy," which appeared in Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan's Road from Minnesota to the World (ed. C. J. Sheehy & T. Swiss; Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2009), where the author refers to me as "very puzzled." Sure, if by puzzled you mean outraged. I also was interviewed by phone by yet another author who is writing a book about Dylan. Not bad for a philologist whose expertise is in a wholly different area.

"Ralph" will continue, probably at the same slow pace. And yes, the Ralphies for 2010 will shortly appear. Watch this space.


J. P. van de Giessen said...


d. miller said...

Still reading six years on...

sh said...

quality before quantity :-)