“I have always found revisiting my novels painful work,” wrote Larry McMurtry in the Foreword to a collection of his essays, “and the novels, after all, are the marriages and great loves of one’s imagination. In comparison, the columns and articles which follow are quick tricks and one-night stands, the offspring of opportunity rather than passion.”
If an essay is a one-night stand, then a blog post must be something quite ephemeral and tawdry indeed. Perhaps it’s a drunken French kiss in a back alley, if we were to extend McMurtry’s metaphor.
Such an insubstantial format probably doesn’t merit much of importance, which is why it seems fitting that my most-visited post of 2010 wasn’t one of my lengthy meditations on the nature of historical memory, nor one of my carefully composed site reviews, nor one of my periodic reflections on the historiographical state of a given subject.
No, the post that got the most traffic (by far) in 2010 was an irritable rant on Glenn Beck and the Bat Creek Stone. In fact, I continue to get irate comments on that post from readers who take my skepticism toward an obscure Tennessee artifact very, very personally.
Oh, well. I suppose that if you’re going to go Googling for historical information, it’s best that you do it for something like spurious archaeological finds rather than more substantial topics like the origins of the American Revolution. For the latter, you’re better off reading a book, anyway.
I wish all my readers, both frequent and occasional, a happy and prosperous 2011. I hope you’ll continue to make this blog one of your regular online stops, no matter what brings you here, and whether you agree with these unsolicited observations about history or not.