Wednesday 30 June 2021

Valediction Forbidding Mourning

Regular readers of this blog may have sensed over the last few months that its momentum was running down; I have posted less frequently, and some of the recent posts have perhaps had less substance, than in the good old days when I first started this Morris-and-utopias forum – the world’s first William Morris blog.  That was back in October 2007, so I have put in nearly fourteen years of Morris blogging, and I have now decided to bring this project to a close.  There may be the odd subsequent post now and again, but I shan’t be pursuing this blog systematically any longer.

Why not?  Well, other Morris blogs have come and gone across those years, so why shouldn’t mine too?  But there are also more principled reasons.  They would include a sense that I am now finding it more difficult to fruitfully relate Morris to contemporary cultural and political issues, which was such a major formative impulse for this project; a feeling that I haven’t created the lively forum for debate that I had initially hoped to; and finally, a resigned sense that blogging, which once seemed such an innovative social media practice, has become a rather elderly form – fourteen years being a very long time in these fast-moving technological matters.

Though I’ve used a John Donne title to this post (one which F.R. Leavis himself employed for similar purposes in his day), it’s been Thomas Hardy’s fine poem ‘The Superseded’ which has been in my mind for the last couple of months.   When it’s time to go, as I believe it now is, then one should just do so, shortly and sweetly; and I have, after all, already written an extended reflection on my experience of Morrisian blogging in a chapter for Teaching William Morris, edited by Jason Martinek and Elizabeth Miller (pp.265-74).

So thanks to my many readers across the years, and especially to those who have taken the time and trouble to add comments to my posts, on such a variety of topics.   As for the project of a twenty-first-century Morrisian communism, which has been one of the key themes of this blog, I shall now pursue that goal by other means.