13 dic. 2007

I am writing my current book for the chimerical "general audience." The college-educated (or advanced undergraduate) literate person who is not necessarily a PhD in literature (or aspiring to be one). Even if such a person never reads the book, the literature professor who does read it will still feel the pleasure of something readable--I hope. The originality of the argument and the actual content should still be of interest to the more or less specialized reader too. I often write with specific people in mind, readers who I think might enjoy my book. That helps to focus the attention on the reader. I think: what would Joseph Duemer think about this point? Of course, I don't really know, but it helps me to realize whether something is convincing, clear, etc... I'm sure other writers do the same thing.

There's nothing like having an article in a prestigious journal and then to look back ten years later and see that this article has been cited by THREE other scholars (in the best cases; the mean is actually zero). My last book got all of four book reviews.

That's why I don't really understand why all academics are not bloggers. I get to hear about more interest in my ideas in an average week on the blog than I would over a five year period just writing books and articles.

6 comentarios:

Joseph Duemer dijo...

Well, I can't wait till it's published & I can get my hands on it! You have sent me back to Lorca a number of times over the last year or so with blog posts & I've always come away feeling I have a little bit clearer relationship to the poet.

bobbasil dijo...

The citations mean (adding up all the citations and dividing by the number of articles)is between one and zero. The median (the "middle number") and mode (most common number) are both zero.

Jonathan dijo...

What you're calling a mean is what I call an "average." What I meant by mean is what you call "median," the "number in the middle." I'm sure my terminology is wrong.

For example, I have published around 25 articles, about 20 of which have never been cited. So my median and mode are both zero.

That's why now I try to write only the "pathbreaking" articles that will get maybe three or four citations if I'm lucky.

bobbasil dijo...

Why aren't all academics bloggers? Capable bloggers require an unusual combination of talents, character, and needs that few academics have.

Talents: (a) lots of ideas, (b) a lucid prose style, (c) easy access to that lucid prose style (no writer's block). (Note that many great academics have none of these talents.)

Character: (a) initiative, (b) time-management, (c) a need to communicate frequently. (Note that many great academics lack one or more of these characteristics.)

Needs for: (a) frequent feedback, (b) unsupervised publication, (c) unauthorized discussion, (d) thinking out loud. (Note that many great academics prefer old-fashioned, controlled environments for even their most magical work.)

Jonathan dijo...

Well you've answered my rhetorical question! Those are reasons enough.

bobbasil dijo...

I might add one, other reason:

An academic blogger wants to foster an online colloquium that invites reception from everywhere. (It's an extra class, actually, one unbound by semesters.)