It's funny to think that the word at the end of this scroll I started writing 5 years ago today has always been "book," even as the top word kept changing and the scroll got longer and longer. If I were writing in separate books, this blog would be 30 volumes by now, but no one would have published 30 volumes of such disconnected material, and since so much of my time and energy would have been drained off into editing work, it couldn't have been 30 volumes. It wouldn't even have been 10 volumes. There is no me over there in that alternate world where I was writing books instead of blogging. And you wouldn't have been there reading them either. You couldn't have cared about those books. What could they have been? Something completely different from this blog, and someone else, in this world, is writing fine books.
Me, I'm blogging. It may all be disconnected — one post after another, one thing that happened to interest me after another, along with all the things each post made you readers want to contribute, as the threads inside the posts go spinning off wherever they go. But it is all connected too. It is one long scroll — a 5-year-long scroll, with an average of 8 posts a day, and not one day missed. And it is connected in that other sense of being always instantly connected to readers. To be able to see and feel the presence of readers as I write is a deep pleasure denied to the writers of books.
So there are no books. There is only this, the blog, my magnum opus. And to say that is not to brag. Wikipedia says:
The term "magnum opus" is distinguished in usage from "masterpiece" by a requirement that it is a work on a large scale, and by the absence of a requirement that it is generally regarded as among the creator's most successful works. A masterpiece may be small, short or slight, but still highly successful. A magnum opus may be generally regarded as a failure. For example, several 19th century composers devoted enormous amounts of time to writing operas, but are mainly remembered for much shorter works for smaller forces. Examples include Schubert, Schumann, Isaac Albéniz, and Franz Lizst. Similar examples in literature include William Wordsworth, Thomas Pynchon and John Keats. With other artists, such as The Beatles, Beethoven, Wagner, Michelangelo and Raphael, the two terms coincide in their work—their largest works are among those regarded as their best.It's my magnum opus, then, for good or bad — this stack of posts, now 5 years high.