Saturday, June 09, 2007

The strange saga of The Vernacular Body

Tho years ago, when I was first discovering the blogosphere, I came upon a blog called The Vernacular Body, written by someone signing himself "elck." It quickly became the first blog I turned to when I went on the Internet. The author, who lived in New York, but was originally from Nigeria (he sometimes included greetings in Yoruba), was wise, enlightening, and entertaining (though he didn't appreciate being called entertaining). On April 1, 2005, he changed the name of his blog from The Vernacular Body to Abdul-Walid of Acerbia, and had a hilarious post introducing himself, with a tag line of something like, "My name is Abdul-Walid of Acerbia. Perhaps you have heard of it."

There was a beautiful post about his trip to India with his fiancee, who came (I believe) from Goa. But then, in July, he stopped blogging. I couldn't blame him; he was not only newly married, but working on a dissertation.

I've thought about "Abdul-Walid" many times since he shut down his blog. Recently I did a Google search under both Abdul-Walid of Acerbia and the Vernacular Body. Check out the appreciation on Via Negativa. But the most bizarre thing is that his blog address is still around: I've read that blog addreeses can be bought and sold. But why someone selling science kits for children would want to have the address of a literary blog is beyond my comprehension. It would be wonderful if this site is just being held until Abdul-Walid returns to Acerbia. I'm not holding my breath.


Dave said...

I guess you must've missed the two blogs he wrote this year, modal minority and miracle speech? Those too have just been taken down. I interviewed him about his blogging philosophy on Friday:

We also just reprinted a piece from the vernacular body at qarrtsiluni,

Dave said...

Clickable links to the aforementioned: Blogging and Inpermanence; The Silverberg Variations.

Peter said...

If you had written this post even a week earlier, Dave or I could have pointed you to the two wonderful sites he refers to here. Sigh!

Dave said...

Yes, unfortunately he seems to have made sure his sites weren't indexed by Google or the Internet Archive this time, either.

steve on the slow train said...

Dave and Peter: I'm afraid I did miss them. I did read some comments by Teju Cole on other blogs--it probably was either on via negativa of slow reads, but I didn't realize he was one and the same as Abdul-Walid.

I appreciate the links, Dave. The Silverberg Variations appeared before I started reading The Vernacular Body. And the interview did give me some insight into Teju's propensity to close down his blogs. And the comments were as interesitng as the interview.

Alex S said...

That stinks when a blogger you love stops blogging! I experienced that with Bean and I really missed her writing so very much-fortunately she came back! But YOU stay put and blog away! (: