Reading between the lines of silence … or, the sound of a singing soul
Regular readers will know that the past year or so has seen a diminishing number of posts around here. Y’all have done an excellent job of running the asylum in my pseudo-absence, so I won’t apologize (not least of all because many of you probably don’t really miss the sound of my e-voice). But the diminishment has been painful for me personally for a number of reasons.
First, even when I’m not actively posting, the blog is never far away from me and my thoughts. I put my eyes on every comment that’s posted (and especially those few that aren’t), at all hours of the day and night. And then there is the small book’s worth of scrap paper laying about my home and work offices, scrawled on with ideas for potential-laden threads, as well as a growing list of voice notes on my phone in which I’ve dictated (usually in the car) snatches of thoughts that will, I swear, become a post one of these days (there’s the one about an old Greater Vision album that I think of as capturing two Gerald Wolfes on one record, and another about why backwoods virtuosi can’t seem to leave the world of southern gospel, and another that involves a wonderful old photo of the Klaudt Indian family from way, way, WAY back … and so on … you get the idea).
Second, and more ironically, what must look from your perspective like a withdrawal on my part of interest in, or a disengagement of attention with, the subject matter at hand has actually measured for me in inverse proportion my immersion in the music as I’ve worked on an academic book about southern gospel. Unlike “regular” books, scholarly works take a long time to gestate (conceptualizing, researching, writing, rewriting, reviewing, revising, re-revising, indexing, and so on) before their final appearance, and so I’ve tried to play down the enormous undertaking it is, and has been and continues to be, lest it all become one big anticlimax, or the bloggerly equivalent of hearing over and over again about one’s dog and its fondness for consuming one’s homework.
But no matter: here we are. The book is nearly done. It’s all over, as we’d say back home, but the shoutin’ (a final proofing, to be exact, of the galleys that sit on my desk here as I write, and, you know … actually producing the thing itself, which is accomplished by far more talented people than I).
And so begins the self-promotion.
The University of Illinois Press’s spring 2012 catalog is out, and my forthcoming book is part of it. Since the readers of this site have played an indispensable role in my understanding of southern gospel in general and the writing of this book in particular, I wanted you to be among the first to see the cover and catalog copy. Many thanks to Jeremy Bell and the generosity with which he volunteered access to his trove of southern gospel images. This image in particular says southern gospel with exquisite clarity … says it splendidly and immediately.
I’m not sure when “regular” posting will resume, but at least now you know a bit more about what stands behind my increased silence (and how/where to buy the book, which of course I hope you’ll do in droves, pre-order or post-release). I guess you could say that the silence around here has been and is, in its own way, the sound of my soul singing just offstage.Email this Post