Thank You, Dear Readers!

” If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

We have all grappled with the age-old question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

No doubt, a physicist would answer with a resounding, “Yes. The existence of sound is objective and does not depend on its being heard.”

On the other hand, some philosophers might take a contrary view, arguing that sound is subjective, existing only in our minds.

I started thinking about that brain teaser late last night when I should have been sleeping. Instead of sleeping, however, I decided to look at the blog statistics for last year to see the extent to which it was an objective or a subjective entity! I guess I wanted some kind of evidence that the blog mattered even if I had not been as faithful to myself and to my readers last year as I wish that I had been.

I ended up with a confirmation. “You’re reading my blog! Therefore, it is! Therefore, I am!”

There! That settles it! It certainly settled it enough last night for me to lie down and sleep peacefully right through the night!

The blog’s statistics for last year make a far stronger showing than I had expected. Let me share some highlights.

Last year, the blog had 3,940 visitors. Twenty-five percent of those were from the United States. Seventy-five percent were from 40 other countries. I am delighted–simply delighted–to have such an international readership!

My most visited post last year was “Serendepity on Sullivan’s Island” going all the way back to 2013. I’m still pondering why that post would be so popular! No doubt, it’s because it deals with Edgar Allan Poe. The second most visited was “In Praise of Fruitcake.” No doubt because it is a recent post. No doubt, too, because folks wanted to see what claims I would make in praise of fruitcake! And, as an educator, it pleases me, of course, to see that my “Philosophy of Teaching” is another popular read.

Dear readers–whoever you are and wherever you are–I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for continuing the journey! Thank you for continuing to read my blog! You continue to mean the world to me!

Moving ahead in 2022, I have lots and lots of ideas tumbling around in my head–hopefully being polished and smoothed–headed your way, hopefully on a more regular basis!

As a teaser, I will share with you that one of the forthcoming posts will be a full exploration of what I will declare to be the Great American Novel. It is not Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. It is not Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. It is not Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It is not F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I could continue to dismiss many other contenders, but I won’t. Let me say, simply, that it is a recent novel–one that has received considerable international acclaim–one that will be acclaimed, right here in this blog, to be the Great American Novel!

Hopefully, that teaser alone will keep you coming back for more!

6 thoughts on “Thank You, Dear Readers!

    • Thanks for such an excellent question. It’s an extensive list, and I am surprised–but immensely pleased and grateful–that a blog such as mine would engage international readers.

      As I noted in the post, 25% my readers last year were from the United States. A whopping 75% of my readers were from other countries. Topping the list are China, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Romania, Poland, Luxembourg, and Sweden.

      Other countries with a good number of readers who visited the blog include Uganda, India, Ukraine, Russia, Chile, Spain, and South Africa.

      Again, thanks for your question!

  1. I have read several of the “old” Great American Novels, mostly when I was a child and had the stomach for cruelty. I no longer do. They’re still valuable books, though, to remember where we came from and to understand how others perhaps still live. Yes, even in America.

    I would, and do when anyone asks my opinion, nominate A Confederacy of Dunces. I can’t think of any great themes or takeaways from it, although I’m sure there must be some. But it’s funny and holds up to many re-readings.

  2. Thanks and thanks again for bringing John Kennedy Toole’s comedic and picaresque A Confederacy of Dunces front and center stage!

    I agree with you: it is funny and holds up to multiple readings. A few years ago, I included the novel in my Major American Writers course, and students loved it!

    In New Orleans–Toole’s hometown–the novel’s protagonist–Ignatius J. Reilly–is so revered that a bronze statue of him stands outside what is now the Hyatt French Quarter Hotel. (Somewhere I have a photo of me standing beside Ignatius!)

    And whoever has read the novel will always remember Ignatius’ love of wine cakes! I have spent many hours pursuing an authentic recipe. Just now–preparing my reply–I came upon information about Cynthia LeJeune Nobles’s A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook! It may very well end up in my Amazon cart!

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