December 29, 2010

2010: An American Literary Year in Review

Now that the year 2010 is rapidly drawing to a close, I wanted to thank all of you for following the American Literary Blog. It's been fun for me as I research some of my favorites and learn new things about writers I'd never heard of - all in the attempt at giving you, the reader, something interesting tidbits iin American literary history almost every day. I'll admit, the blog has taken up much more of my personal time than I ever anticipated but the pay-off has been that lots of people actually read it!

I thought it might be interesting to look at the most popular entries of the year (based on the blog's built-in statistics, these were the most-visited entries).

10. Great Astronomical Discoveries (August 25, 2010)
The infamous "Moon-Hoax" of 1835 in the New York Sun 

9. Tramping over the soil (August 5, 2010)
The day that Nathaniel Hawthorne met Herman Melville in the Berkshires of Massachusetts in 1850

8. Emerson's first wife and "Wild Apples" (February 8, 2010)
Ellen Tucker, wife of Ralph Waldo Emerson, died in 1831; exactly 29 years later, Emerson's daughter by his second wife (named after Ellen) reflected on a lecture given by Henry David Thoreau, Emerson's protege

7. Walden published, waxwork yellowing (August 9, 2010)
In 1854, Henry David Thoreau casually remarked on the publication of his masterpiece, Walden, as if it was just any other day

6. Alcott: In a month, I mean to be done (November 1, 2010)
Louisa May Alcott sets the goal of completing volume two of Little Women within 30 days. This post gained popularity at least in part due to Twitter connecting it to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoMo).

5. Fuller: That the anguish may be brief (July 19, 2010)
160 years after her death at sea, Margaret Fuller is getting lots of attention, thanks in part to her bicentennial being this year.

4. Whitman's funeral and burial (March 30, 2010)
Part two of the story of Walt Whitman's death; people seemed most interested in seeing the poet's death mask.

3. Death of Virginia Clemm Poe (January 30, 2010)
For the death of the wife of Edgar Allan Poe, this entry focused on their unique relationship and the controversy behind it.

2. And the papers will tell you the rest (November 7, 2010)
The first poem published by a young Ezra Pound was the first (and likely the last) entry on the Modernist on the blog.

1. Guest blog: Death of Poe and Holmes (October 7, 2010)
The dual death of Edgar Allan Poe and Oliver Wendell Holmes, though decades apart, proved the biggest draw this year. Written as a guest blog by contemporary novelist Matthew Pearl (The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, The Last Dickens), I'm not sure if it was Pearl, Holmes, or Poe that pulled the most people in.

I promise to keep things interesting throughout 2011. I also promise to balance out the authors represented a little better (I'm vowing to limit myself on entries related to Longfellow, Poe, and Hawthorne). I'm also hoping to inspire more and more guest entries. In the meantime, I'll be cutting back a bit (consider it my New Year's resolution). This year, I averaged about six posts a week; next year, I'm aiming only for four per week. To make up for it, I'd like to encourage more interaction. That means more discussions on the Facebook page, more comments on the blog itself, more votes for future posts, etc. I hope to get everyone who is reading to show me they're enjoying it. We'll see how it goes!

No comments:

Post a Comment