Doing some reading for my prospectus tonight, I was reading Peter Burke’s thoughts on microhistory. In it, he quotes an anthropologist named Clifford Geertz who writes about the need “to ferret out the unapparent import of things.” I’ve been chewing on this little phrase all night and finally realized that this has, unknowingly, been a life principle for me, not just as a scholar but as a writer and a blogger. I am fascinated by the tiny little nothing-detail that means something bigger.
That is what blogging has become for me – an opportunity to “ferret out” the important truth inside the day-to-day-everydayness. It’s amazing to me how blogging becomes a way of writing my own microhistory. I could probably write down every teeny life detail, however boring that might be to read, but somehow blogging the little stories tells a big story. And if every blog is a microhistory, then all the blogs in the universe together might tell an even bigger story. This is the strength of the blogger and I have been taking it for granted.
So congratulations. I bet you didn’t know that you, blogger friend of mine, were a micro-historian. Keep on making history.