Thursday, January 1, 2015

A New Year (And A New Blog)

Dear fellow-explorers of literature,

The past several months have been happily successful for "The Pen and the Sword". I've explored Catholic tradition, liberal education, and literary greats from Robert Louis Stevenson to Robert Frost.  I have very much enjoyed this opportunity to share my thoughts on all these topics. On the statistical side, I'm delighted to report that this past December broke my previous record for monthly pageviews--nearly 850! Thank you, readers, for all you've done to support this new and fumbling blogger.

However, I do have one small request. Although I'm happy to see my stats moving up, I find little satisfaction as a writer not knowing who my readers actually are! Numbers don't read blog posts. People do. But when people do not leave comments on said blog posts, how am I to be the wiser?

(Now, admittedly, I am hardly an exemplary blog commenter myself. However, I here make a New Year's resolution, with the World Wide Web as witness, to comment on more blogs this year.)

My request is simple: if you have enjoyed any of my posts this past year, please comment and let me know. What topic interested you most? What would you like to see more of (or less of)? I did not start this blog merely to "add my voice" to the blogosphere. I want to connect with people of like mind, and to share my love of literature in dynamic discussion. So please--leave a brief comment on this post and let me know.

I've one last favor to ask before letting you go. When you've finished reading (and commenting on) this post, please visit this page: "Der Holzburg" ("The Forest Castle" in German) is my older brother David's brand new blog. He and I share interests in culture, literature, and theology, but David also has a penchant for history, political philosophy, economics, and current events. In other words, if you've enjoyed "The Pen and the Sword", chances are you'll love exploring "Der Holzburg" as well. Here's a sneak peek at his latest post--a comparison of the recent Disney movies Tangled and Frozen in the light of traditional fairy-tale symbolism:

Urban legend has it that the protagonists of "Tangled" appear briefly in the movie "Frozen" among the guests at Elsa's coronation, and some try to use this as evidence of deeper connections between the two stories. It's fun to try and find the little hints that point to a broader picture of Disney's reworked fairy-tale world. In fact "Tangled" and "Frozen" are closely related. They are sister movies with almost identical themes, and they both aim to put a thoroughly modern spin on an old story. The difference? "Tangled" failed to overcome the power of moral symbolism, and what was meant to be an iconoclastic revolution against the princely hero and damsel in distress, accidentally became a traditional, original fairy-tale. On the other hand, "Frozen" beat moral symbolism and achieved a victory which Disney has been pursuing for decades: the creation of a modern fairy-tale.

Intrigued? Read on...

Thank you again for a wonderful 2014. May God bless your endeavors this year, and let us all remember to comment on each other's blogs. Amen.