In the history of graphic design, parallel lines figure prominently – in comic-book art and in illustration in general – as a means to represent halftones.I open the current post with a drawing of General Judenits of the Russian Army of the Northwest – in English he’s known as Nikolai Yudenich (1862-1933).
Nikolai Yudenich was a leader of the anti-communist White movement in Northwestern Russia during the Russian Civil War after the Russian Revolution.
I have read widely about Europe and Canada in the 1930s, and about the Second World War. These topics bring to mind the First World War and the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia.
General Judenits (Nikolai Yudenich)
I start the post with the pen-and-ink portrait of General Judenits. The style of artwork, with its skillful application of parallel lines to represent gradations of halftones, brings to mind the history of the graphic novel, as a genre of literature. The illustration is not directly connected to comic-book-style illustrations. However, any fan of comic-book art will, I believe, tune into the power and vitality of the portrait of General Judenits.
The image is from a book, Eesti Iseseisvuse Sünd [The Birth of Estonian Independence] by Eduard Laaman (1888-1941).
Eduard Laaman was an Estonian journalist and historian who was executed at a Russian prison by the Soviet NKVD (secret police organization) in 1941.
Laaman’s wife and two daughters fled to Sweden in 1944, at the onset of the second Soviet occupation of Estonia – which was preceded by the German occupation of this Baltic country – during the Second World War.
The book, that I refer to, was published in 1964 but the original text was written much earlier. The photos in the book are indistinct, given the nature of the printing process used in its publication. The black and white line drawings in the book, however, such as the illustration featured at this post, give rise to clear and distinct reproductions.
A person learns a style or genre of blogging
Over time, I have learned about styles of blogging that work for me.
One style of blogging features topics that I have been exploring for many years.
The latter style differs from a style that features news reports built around an evidence-based approach to information dissemination. News reports are of value, and many site visitors seek out such posts.
However, I also have an interest in exploring the conceptual framework – indeed, the conceptual infrastructure, in which the logistics of words and figures figure prominently – by means of which news reports are presented.
A “meditation upon”
I like to write posts set in a genre of writing that is often spoken of as a “meditation on,” or “meditation upon,” some general topic.
Such posts may or may not be of interest to very many people. My guess is that more people are interested in straight news reports, than in ruminations.
I check site statistics from time to time, meaning that I have some interest in what topics are of interest to site visitors.
However, how many people read a given post is not a primary concern. I am also writing posts as a means whereby I can refine my thinking. If I can think more clearly, about a variety of matters related to evidence and framing, I can be that much more capable, in writing posts (and book chapters) that will attract a decent number of readers.
HTML formatting (e.g. involving links)
What also works well for me are essays or articles in which I do not create a lot of links to previous posts or biographical sources.
Whatever links are connected with the current post, for example, can easily be found using the internal search engine at this website.
Or a person can point a browser to other sources, more widely available online.
There’s an element of drudgery involved in the setting up of links, and I prefer to avoid such a feature of blogging, when I can.
I don’t mind writing HTML formatting for headings, however, as it’s a straightforward procedure, and is fun to do. For example, when I work in Text Mode in WordPress, a heading is preceded by <h2> and is terminated by </h2>. Similarly, bolding a word means starting with <strong> and concluding with </strong>.
Length of text
In “meditations-upon” posts, I have no need for concern about the length that a post will take. Whether a given site visitor wants to slog through a post, from start to finish, or not, is not in this case a primary consideration.
I am really pleased that a previous post, at 10,000-words plus, has been widely read, despite the length of it. I refer to an article entitled “A History of Long Branch.” I would be very leery about doing any copy editing on that particular text. I may do some fine-tuning of it in future, but with great care to ensure the additional work improves, and does no detract.
The latter article just happened to work out well. I spent at least six weeks of daily work upon it. Usually, I do not work at that level of intensity. The article brings home to me that a 10,000-word piece, if it’s going to be any good, requires a lot of thought and research. The length of the piece is just one aspect of it. It’s just one feature of the total package. So many other things come into play. As with many things, one learns by doing, and by reflecting upon work that a person has done in the past.
Posts about Erving Goffman
Posts that I’ve written about Erving Goffman, for this website, are in the category of an exploration in some depth of some subject area that I am especially well-versed in.
These posts are a combination of news reports (based on online resources) and “meditations upon.”
Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
I have studied “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life” very closely, from the time it was published. I have made notes, and written out passages, chapter by chapter. I have also affirmed, and made use of, Goffman’s concepts in a wide range of contexts.
I mention Goffman, because I had originally thought that it would not be worthwhile to write about his work, at this website. Given that Goffman is of a previous era, who would care less about him now?
The original thought was challenged, however, by my encounters with citations of Goffman in material I was reading in recent years. Such material includes a variety of studies related to the world history of warfare.
I was surprised to note, that in studies I was reading in recent years, work by Goffman was still being cited frequently. Thus it made sense for me to proceed with speaking about his work, at this website, rather than avoiding discussion of it.
Frame Analysis: An Essay in the Organization of Experience
Some time back, I bought a copy of Goffman’s “Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience.” I have not, as yet, read the book closely, but I have in recent times begun to read the Foreword to the book. The Foreword, by Bennett M. Berger, speaks of Goffman’s relationship to symbolic interactionism.
Until I began to read the Foreword, I had assumed that Goffman was a symbolic interactionist, period. However, Berger notes that Goffman’s relationship to symbolic interactionism is more nuanced than I have until recently assumed. I have been pleased to encounter Berger’s overview, as it gives me a better sense of how best to “frame” Goffman in the wider scheme of things.
I like above all to read Goffman’s original texts, and I prefer not to spend a lot of time reading secondary sources offering summaries of his work; I much prefer to read the original texts. However, a Foreword, to a book of original material from Goffman, certainly can be helpful, and is worth a close read.
Thinking Fast and Slow, and Talking Politics
Two additional resources, of relevance with regard to a study of Goffman’s work, are “Talking Politics” by William A. Gamson and “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman.
The books I refer to, with the exception of “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,” are ones that I have bought over the years.
One can think of much else to write about. This will do for now, however.