Sunday, September 16, 2012

The 500th

According to the blog counter, this is my five hundredth post.  When I first began some four years ago, I had no goal or target to shoot at.  I just started posting and assumed that I would eventually lose interest or burn out or get interrupted by fate or some chance event.  I even wondered whether I would be able to come up with enough material to make more than a few posts.   I still may burn out or lose interest some day, and fate may still interrupt me, but I definitely won't run out of material.   One day years from now I may even reach 1000, maybe.

This does give me an opportunity to do something I've been thinking about for some time--compare the list of my favorite posts and the posts, according to the Blogger Stats, that have received the most visits.  I've often wondered how much overlap there really is.

The Ten Most Visited Posts (according to Blogger Stats)

N. Scott Momaday      The Way to Rainy Mountain
May 23, 2010             2422 visits

Shirley Jackson           "The Lottery"
June 27, 2010             1286 visits

Brian Aldiss               "Super-Toys Last All Summer"
March 25, 2011         679 visits

Robert Frost              "Storm Fear"
Feb. 3, 2011              521 visits

Alfred Bester             "Fondly Fahrenheit"
August 14, 2008        442 visits

Thomas Mann           The Transposed Heads
Nov. 3, 2011             428 visits

Robert Frost             a terrifying poet?
Sept 16, 2008          182 visits

Friedrich Durrenmatt    The Pledge, novel and film
Jan. 16, 2009              165 visits

Theodore Sturgeon      Three By Theodore Sturgeon
Jan 16, 2010                151 visits

Tales of Times Past     Japanese medieval stories
March 6, 2011           148 visits

It's a rather mixed collection.   I don't see much of a pattern here, except for some slight predominance of SF and fantasy, but that may be due to a predominance of posts about SF and fantasy.  I haven't really ever taken a genre census. 

The following is a list of some of my favorite posts.  I'm not certain exactly why they are.  Maybe some day I will be enlightened.  They are in no particular order.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam  --a series of posts, one for each quatrain in the first edition which has 75 quatrains.  I'm now up to Quatrain LXII, so I have thirteen to go to finish the work.

Kim Stanley Robinson:  four or five posts about his "Three Californias" series:   The Wild Shore, The Gold Coast, and Pacific Edge. Each of the three novels depicts a different future for Orange County, California--a post holocaust future, a continuation of the cold war and the dominance of the military-industrial complex in the US, and an ecological/environmental oriented future, respectively.

Blade Runner--five versions of the film.

Shirley Jackson--"The Lottery"

Gregory Benford--The "Galactic Center" series:  six posts, each of which is about the six novels in the series, which is one of the greatest SF series (if not the greatest) ever written,  in my view anyway.  It begins in the late 1990s on Earth and ends somewhen about 35,000 (yes, thirty-five thousand) years in the future around the black hole at the center of our galaxy..

N. Scott Momaday:  The Way to Rainy Mountain,  part history of the Kiowa people, part legends of the Kiowa people, and part personal history of Momaday. 

The Rashomon posts, several posts about the film by Akira Kurosawa and the stories of Ryunosuke Akutagawa that formed the basis of the film.

The Maltese Falcon:  a post discussing the three versions of Dashiell Hammett's novel, The Maltese Falcon.

William Hope Hodgson:  The Night Land, a post about one of my favorite fantasy novels.

King Kong:  a post comparing the three versions of the film.

Ikiru: a post discussing one of my favorite films, directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Robert Frost  a terrifying poet?--a slightly different view of the poet

Robert Frost: "For Once, Then Something"

Thomas Hardy and Robert Frost:  "Hap" and "Design"

and others.

Not much overlap is there?

I've enjoyed the ride so far, so I guess I'll stay with it for a while longer.

And thanks, to you and the others who have visited me here and had something to say about what you read here.  Hearing from you is important and I think most every blogger would agree with me.


  1. I wonder if the stats take into account those of use that read the posts via RSS feeds? I rarely ever visit blogs, but follow a number via RSS?

    In any case Fred, I follow, and enjoy yours, keep it up.

  2. Scott,

    I don't know whether RSS feeds are counted.

    Thanks for the comment.

    And, great photos on your blog.

  3. Congratulations, Fred, that's a great milestone. The Khayyam posts are really consistently impressive, as is the breadth of what you cover, like the Robsinson & Benford posts.

    Thanks for all the good writing!

    PS - the RSS feeds - I am pretty sure the answer is no, they are not counted.

  4. Amateur Reader (Tom),

    Thanks for the kind words and encouragement.

    "The Poetics of Bird Defense"?

  5. Congratulations, Fred! Thanks for introducing me to some interesting authors and films through your posts.

  6. Cheryl,

    Thanks for your kind words, and for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you found writers and films of interest here.

  7. Oh yeah, I should change that.

    While researching Longfellow's curious poem "The Birds of Killingworth," I came across an actual, recent academic paper about the poem titled "The Poetics of Bird Defense in America, 1860-1918."

  8. Amateur Reader (Tom),

    Just curious. Great title--it has that academic flavor about it.

    I wonder if there's any connection here to the bird (pigeon?) killing scene in one of James Fenimore Cooper's novels.

  9. Interesting, Fred. I have a couple of favorites in each group, as widely spread out as Robert Frost and Bladerunner. Plus saw some of interest which I missed and am going now to catch up with.

  10. The article's description said it covered the Longfellow poem and "The Sandpiper" by Celia Thaxter (?), but the Cooper passenger pigeon "hunting" scene would seem like a logical inclusion too.

  11. Madame V,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Which ones are you planning to catch up with?

  12. Amateur Reader (Tom),

    Considering the ultimate fate of the passenger pigeon, it would seem to be a logical choice.

  13. Mazel tov! And thanks; I think it's because of you that I started reading Ryunosuke Akutaga.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  14. Peter,

    Always glad to be of service. Akutagawa is one of my favorites and I enjoy spreading the good word.

  15. A very interesting mix of posts for sure.

  16. mel u,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I don't know whether it's been a curse or a blessing. I've never been able to settle down on one author or genre or period or type.