Looking For Blithedale?

(Soundtrack: Sheryl Crow–The Globe Sessions)

Since I installed a stat counter, I’ve discovered that, more often than not, when a Googler from outside of the comics blogosphere stumbles across this site, they were led here by a quest for information on Hawthorne’s masterpiece, The Blithedale Romance! Actually, BR is running neck and neck for the title of top keyword reference with “Subbluecollar” and various formulations of the question “how do I make a synthetic woman?”! Now, I don’t want to help the second group, and, sadly, I don’t have any news for the first–except that I love Subbluecollar (especially “Photo Booth”) and I wish they’d come back… they were poised to inherit the mantle of the Pixies, and I don’t understand what happened!

However, I do have an essay on Hawthorne’s novel to offer, “The Extremities Die First: Sympathy and the Sublime in The Blithedale Romance–I’ve just posted it over at PleaseMo’. Looking it over, I’m not very happy with the piece, but it’s not easy to write about your favourite work of art–I’ve read Blithedale about ten times in the past five years, and I love it for different reasons every time. I’m obsessed with the book, but can never quite get a fix on it–that’s greatness, as far as I’m concerned…
Anyway, the novel I’m currently working on is, in large part, my attempt to ambush Hawthorne on his own home turf (prose fiction), and I’m much happier with it than any of the critical work I’ve done on Blithedale… That said, if you’re out there and you’re writing a paper on the book, I hope you’ll find something of interest in “Extremities”… At least you know the enthusiasm is there!

Also–everyone go read Tim O’Neil’s Cerebus piece–it merits your attention, even if you, like me, haven’t read the whole series! Then come back and check out what I had to say to Christopher Butcher late last night! (and then go ask Sean Collins to elaborate on why Citizen Kane is indisputably superior to The Maltese Falcon–I think we’re due for some more Collins film-blogging anyway! Perhaps we could get The Forager to opine on this matter too?)

Good day friends!



  1. I knew you were hiding the secrets of synthetic women around here somewhere!

    Just be glad that you don’t get searches involving the act of eating people out. I’m always sad when I disappoint them.


  2. “how do I make a synthetic woman?”, that’s pretty impressive. Most of the search keyphrases we get at Peiratikos are pretty sensible, but I’m fond of “origin of mudwrestling” and “help me deal with being a paraplegic”…


  3. it’s the Gwen Stacy clone talk that draws those individuals–there are more Jackals out there than you’d think…They’ll love what I’ve got planned for April!


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