Celebrating Cassandra

I’m honored to join the chorus of appreciative readers and fellow bloggers celebrating the 10th anniversary of the cassandra pages — in many ways, the most indispensable site in the loose network of literary, artistic and spiritual blogs to which Via Negativa more or less belongs (we’re not big on belonging to networks, any of us). Yesterday, we head from Language Hat, Maria Benet, and the Velveteen Rabbi, and Lorianne DiSabato shared some trenchant observations on blogging at her own site. Today, I’m joined by Teju Cole and Jean Morris in reminiscing and expressing gratitude for Beth’s ten years of blogging. Here’s a quote from Teju:

It wasn’t a great year, 2003. It was a sad year. In February and March, we were all helplessly counting down to the mass murder about to begin in Iraq, watching with horror as the men in charge made up their minds to reshape the world, and to reshape the evidence to suit that purpose. Then the war began, and the terrible news began to pour in. It pours in still.

In the midst of all that, I think we all looked for those things and those people that could speak in a thoughtful, subtle, and prophetic voice to our predicament. We didn’t need more news. We needed presence of mind. I know that this is why I read so much poetry in the past decade, and it’s also why I came to value Cassandra Pages, not long after you began writing here. You used words, images, and experience in ways that set the darkness echoing. Whether thinking about civil rights, a bowl of figs, a journey to Iceland, or a painting by Duccio, you were never lazy or glib or unkind. Through your writing here (and later, through our friendship in the real world), I learned to be more thoughtful. And through you and the way things branch out on the Internet, I found many other like-minded friends, like Dave Bonta at Via Negativa, Natalie D’Arbeloff at Blaugustine, and so many precious others.

Read the rest.

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