Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Posthumous posting

[Interesting quote: "There is no need to be frummer than Bais Yaakov."]

I was going to write about this several weeks ago, but stalled as other things came up – and then Jack beat me to it with A few words about my death. But let it be known that I had the idea long before Jack [faux] did it.

The idea is simple: To post-date articles so that they show up on this blog only way down the line, quite possibly after I have moved on to a different world.

I'm not sure why I want to do this. It goes against my grain – usually, I want things I like to appear immediately. And if I don't like it, why publish it? And the Comments section would be pretty dull. And how would I defend my more controversial pieces?

And yet, I want to do it.

Part of me wants to do it because otherwise, the day I go will be the day this blog goes; it will ossify and become uninteresting [if it hasn't already...]. But if there is always the promise of a future post, then followers will still follow, and people will still visit.

Part of me wants to do it for the fun of being entirely out-of-sync when writing about cultural things. Imagine a future post which talks about sports or literature or just normal life, in a world which experiences those things entirely differently.

Part of me wants to do it because a major reason I blog is to tell my children about their ancestor, and they might read new posts even if they won't bother to dig into musty old archives.

Part of me wants to do it because I used to have an anonyblog which I kept anonymous to protect people who were described in it, until I got rid of it because I wanted to blog under my own name. Maybe I could take a bunch of those old posts, though, and put them on here in a century or so, when no one involved could be identified anymore.

Of course, there are risks involved; after all, Blogger may well be gone in 10 years, let alone 50 or 100; why write something, work on it, and withhold publishing it, only to have it disappear when Blogger does?

Nonetheless, I think I'll go for it. Stay tuned...


  1. I have wondered from time to time if my blog will survive long enough for my children to discover it.
    Sometimes I think about using one of those services to turn it into a book so that it can be found, but I don't know.

    But I am fond of the idea of posthumous publishing.

  2. Guessing your age Rabbi, but I'd say you have 70-80 years to worry about publishing posthumously, and no, I very much doubt Blogger will be around. Given how fast things change in our time, I'd imagine they will change even faster in the future.

    I like the idea though. The literary world is always so excited when a "new" piece of writing is discovered, written by one of the no-longer-with-us writers of the past. I like to imagine that my descendants would have the same kind of excitement if words of mine, penned long ago, were suddenly to appear after I'm gone.

    Jack: you don't need one of those pricey services to make a book of your work. You can print out the pages on your own printer, setting for back and front printing, and Staples or OfficeMax will bind the pages for you, in soft or hard cover. Only costs a few dollars.

  3. Jack, ProfK-
    Thanks. Re: The ultimate demise of Blogger - There's always archive.org, or whatever takes its place. And take heart from Friendster, which is fairly dead and yet someone continues to pay the server fee in the hope of resurrecting it.