Foremost, I want to pose a question as to what categorizes a prose-based blog from a photo-journal. As with the post-modernist ideal of art, can we not claim that many visual artists are essentially creating prose within their visual projects? Can we not argue that Scott Schuman’s http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/ is a site full of prose-based sartorial criticism? Though short-winded in verbosity, I stand to argue that The Sartorialist is a website of vast depth and critique that analyzes a universal characteristic of mankind: personal expression through garment presentation. Schuman accompanies exquisite photos of ordinary international citizens with beautiful anecdotes of the way we, as humans, dress and express ourselves within our surroundings. Fashion design and presentation is considered a visual and tacit art which, by definition, aligns itself within the umbrella term of “Fine Arts” that is also inclusitory of poetry, prose, photography, painting, digital media, etc. If we are to look at these photos in a chronicalized order, do we not take something with us? A better understanding of self-representation and self-awareness over time or within the past five years of style? Though relatively recent in terms of origin, The Sartorialist, if continued over time, could visually teach us the evolution of stylistic trends as rooted from social and political happenings within our global culture. For example, how did we get from punk to grunge? What is the significance of veiling in the East (pre and post Reza Shah) and how has that evolved through modernism, here in the West?
A friend recently showed me this absolutely amazing and wonderful website called cardboardgods.net. The writer of this blog, Josh Wilker, has a goldmine of baseball knowledge that is arguably competitive with the years and years of first-hand game viewing that your grandpa spent along the third-base line of Giants, Athletics, Rockies, Mets,or Yankees games. You get the point. Wilker chronicles his site by team name and those players who played for each team…like Ted Simmons . . . you have to love Ted Simmons and his unyeilding love for antique furniture. Not only did he have a batting average of .332 and catch for the Cardinals but in an interview after a tedious game that followed an 11th inning win, all he wanted to discuss was furniture and decor. (read this: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1093723/index.htm) Wilker accurately depicts each and every player in a way that ESPN can’t: his included anecdotes of everyday life, breaks down typical baseball discourse, and shows even a sports-resistant citizen that baseball is something that is part of the American spirit.
Finally, I want to spotlight a couple of music blogs that are similar to the structure of The Sartorialist but include more dialogue. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Pitchfork Media (http://pitchfork.com/), a music blog that your average hipster goes ga-ga over and tailors their entire iTunes library to their “Best New Tracks” list. Though a little trendy, Pitchfork has great commentary, comparisons to other artists and albums, and a surprisingly accurate grading scale of new releases. Similar to Pitchfork, yet really, its not, Funky16Corners (http://funky16corners.wordpress.com/) is a blog-based music compilation of soul and funk artists from vault of bygone eras. Started in June 2006, the blog offers playlists of hard-to-find artists whose records sound exquisite on vinyl.
I took a course on Grotesque fiction last year and some of the short stories that we read were absolutely amazing! Check out our collective prose-based blog to read story analysis and art critiques here: http://summergrotesque.wordpress.com/.
Some more literary-based and authorial blogs also worth checking out:
Margaret Atwood: http://marg09.wordpress.com/ (Such a goddess)
Jenny Boully: http://jennyboully.blogspot.com/ (Upcoming innovation)
Mark Frutkin: http://markfrutkin.blogspot.com/ (Canadian)
Neil Gaiman: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/ (Grotesque writer)