Friday, December 23, 2011

Don’t torment the frog

The previous post, Phyllis Gant on Ronald Hugh Morrieson, was this blog’s 999th. The first, on 9 December 2008, was a celebration of US composer Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday. The 988th on 11 December 2011 was a celebration of his 103rd.

But the intention of the blog was to put online material from what Jolisa Gracewood on Public Address last year generously called “the defunct – but dead funky – literary mag Quote Unquote”. The magazine ran for 44 issues from June 1993 to March 1997, and when my friend Rob O’Neill observed that these days “if it’s not online it doesn’t exist”, I thought – yes. For most people, if you can’t Google it, it might as well never have existed. So I have been posting material that may still be of interest. There are interviews with New Zealand and overseas authors, articles by New Zealand writers on everything from motorbikes to dogs, reminiscences of writers and artists, a bunch of stuff.

Because I don’t have the original Word files any more, I have to reconstruct each piece before posting – it takes about half an hour per original page so a major story can take two or three hours, which is why there have been only 40 so far. Plus I always ask the writer’s permission – photographers and illustrators too – which takes even more time. (Coming soon: Elizabeth Knox on Marilyn Duckworth! And, if I can find her and get her approval, Anita McNaught on Oscar Kightley and David Fane!)

When you run a blog you can see where readers come from and it makes it all worthwhile to see how many people around the world have read Iain Sharp on James K Baxter, Kevin Ireland on Frank Sargeson, Nigel Cox on Maurice Gee, Barbara Else on Annie Proulx, Tim Wilson on Sam Hunt, Carroll du Chateau on Alan Duff, Michael King and Louise Callan on Robin Morrison, Peter Bland on Bill Manhire and so on. 

In between blogging content from the magazine, I put up other stuff just to keep the thing alive – whatever interests me and may entertain friends and others (hence all the music), plus the occasional comment on NZ literary matters

So this is the 1000th post. What to do? How to mark the occasion? Thanks to David Thompson, that’s easy – with a video of a frog:


Keri H said...

I purely *love* that!
1 to the amphibians - so far!

Phil said...

Congrats, Stratters! (I always thought you just cut & pasted the QunQ articles).