Shortly after I initiated this blog, I realized I could not keep up blogging on a daily basis. To write about Goethe, after all, requires some thought. Still, I had hoped to make this a record of my work, both on Goethe and on other subjects. For the most part I think I have been successful in that aim, though I would like to have posted more. Thinking, and then putting down one's thoughts in writing, takes a lot of work!
Recently I read a review essay by the classics scholar Peter Green in The New Republic. The subject was a new biography of the novelist William Golding with whom Green was friends many decades ago, when both lived with their families on some Greek island. (Those were the days.) Professor Green, a classics scholar, mentioned in his review that he and Golding had also exchanged long letters, and gave some details from those letters.
I still write letters occasionally. (In fact, I even wrote one to Professor Green, with whom I have earlier corresponded, after reading the review.) Before the computer and emails, however, I wrote often and long letters at that, especially when I lived in Asia. Letters were a way of keeping up with friends and family, letting them know what I was up to. It struck me on reading the review of the Golding biography that the blog has become my way of keeping up, with letting people know what I am up to. Thus, the "Etc." in the name of this blog, since Goethe is not my only subject of research and writing.
Still, I long to get back to Goethe. Though my knowledge of the 18th century has expanded considerably, the free speech volume has diverted me somewhat from my main area of literary interest. I barely have a chance to read anymore. And I am also falling behind in my "letter writing," i.e., blogging. When I can read again, I can get back to thinking and writing.