Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Mystery of the Missing Middlebrow

When I wrote my last post in memory of Rupert (and in memory of the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint), I didn't expect to disappear from public view for two and a half months. My apologies to those who have been wondering or worrying about where I am. I hasten to say that Andy and I are just fine, and in fact have been rather busy (including an absolutely wonderful 2+ weeks in Japan in April—what a gorgeous, wonderful place!), which has been combined, for me, with a rather surprising urge simply not to blog for a while. 

Although I have certainly missed the interaction with and inspiration from you lovely readers, I also have to admit to feeling the teensiest bit liberated by not blogging for the past couple of months. In a weird sort of way, I have been actively enjoying
not writing. During the seven exciting and hugely fulfilling years that Rupert and I worked together, the blog (which actually began several years before our publishing collaboration) had, necessarily, started to feel a bit like an extension of our publishing—a terribly useful way of sharing news and the excitement of our new titles, yes, but also sort of merely that, if you know what I mean. My reading was often determined by what seemed most likely to be viable to reprint, my reading time was limited by the work of preparing titles for publication (as well as maintaining a day job—and a marriage!), and my writing about my reading was sometimes limited by our publication schedule (not wanting to reveal too much, or get folks too excited about titles we hadn't confirmed, etc.). With all of that framework and those demands suddenly wiped away with Rupert's tragic loss (and undoubtedly also partly as a result of grieving for that loss), I found myself reacting by not writing anything at all, and—perhaps more surprisingly—barely reading anything of the middlebrow sort either, and not a great deal of any sort. (!!!)

I suspect that what will happen, a little way down the road, will be that the urge to track down and research authors will make itself felt again—the original raison d'ĂȘtre for the blog—along with the urge to report on the interesting books I come across—good or bad, reprint-worthy or not. I will definitely miss that gleeful feeling of discovering a treasure and knowing that, if all the stars are aligned, we might be able to get it back into print ourselves. But I will also enjoy following my instincts and pleasures wherever they lead.

I can't say exactly when the blog will get moving again—I'm going with the flow for now—but there is just a chance that Andy and I will be blowing through London for a few days in September, and it's not at all out of the question that that's going to get me thinking about a return visit to the British Library, which could lead to reading wonderfully obscure books, which could have a ripple effect on my blogging instincts, etc. etc. So do stay tuned.

By the way, my non-blogging going-with-the-flow includes, at the moment, a revived interest in Latin American fiction (an obsession of mine in college and shortly after) and, not coincidentally, a newly re-intensified study of Spanish, with an eye toward reading novels directly in Spanish. Wish me luck with that…

"Hasta luego" for now!

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