I'm done with blogging, at least for now. It's not another instance of writer's block but just the plain fact that I have nothing left to say.
When I started At the Villa Rose almost ten years ago, there was no other blog that I know of that dealt exclusively with vintage crime fiction and promoted it; everyone loved contemporary stuff and found no reason to explore what came before. Had anyone at the time said that Golden Age mysteries would soon be the rage and the British Library would reprint J. Jefferson Farjeon and F.W. Crofts, I and most of my few readers would have laughed it off.
A decade passed and everything changed. Other blogs appeared and suddenly vintage crime fiction was everywhere on the web; publishers finally took notice and broadened their horizons; people like Martin Edwards and Curtis Evans played a decisive part in bringing this about, with the former's towering "The Golden Age of Murder" winning almost every award going its way, something unimaginable ten years before.
As for At the Villa Rose... Its readership remained tiny, the infrequency and the brevity of the posting not helping it find a broader audience. Why would people read it anyway? Other blogs did the same thing much better, with more scope and erudition. I slowly lost my mojo though I didn't realize it immediately, my posts became ever more infrequent and now the blog is on hiatus indefinitely. Maybe the mojo will come back someday. Maybe it won't. As the French saying goes, "Qui vivra verra".
As a regular reader I am saddened by this announcement.
Thank you very much for your contributions to the history-of-mystery, stretching over many years.
They are greatly appreciated.
And please return at any time, if you have comments and ideas!
Thanks for the kind words - they're most appreciated, especially coming from a pioneer like you; your own contribution is much more important and decisive than mine.
I'm not closing the door on this blog; I may return if I find something interesting to say, which given how talkative I am may happen sooner than expected.
In the meantime, why don't you join the FB Golden Age group? It is very active and the gang's all there.
I'm very sorry to see you stepping off the stage, Xavier, at least for now. I have read your blog as regularly as possible over the years, and have found your contributions very worthwhile. I hope you will leave At the Villa Rose up as an archive site (so that links from around the Web won't be broken), and that you will find new energy to write here again soon.
Editor, The Rap Sheet
At the Villa Rose will remain online as long as Blogger agrees to give it shelter - it is one of my proudest achievements and I don't want it to go down the drain. As for resuming blogging I hope the mojo comes back the sooner the better, I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts with people all over the world, some of which have become close friends.
I hope that mojo comes back soon!
Let's not say farewell, but au revoir. I've enjoyed reading your thoughts here and at the GAD Yahoo forum back in the days when it was fun place to discuss detective fiction.
Many thanks for your sterling work over the years; I've really enjoyed your blog. Hope you'll be back. Chris
Will you remain into gadetection? You have written about french writers succinctly. Because I have written about french writers as Vindry, et Boileau and someone other, I would create specific pages for these authors and their works . But since you were the first to speak , I should change what you have written . It's something unpleasant , even rude,change the words of another person without his consent . That's because I ask you to do it yourself, or allow me to do it.
I feel sorry for your decision to leave. Think again. It is not true what you say that because there are those who write articles in detail, it means that you feel inadequate. I write articles in detail, but it does not mean I should not or I do not want to learn from people who know things that I do not know. We are scholars, each in his field. I'm sure Mike Grost which is one of the best critics ever that ever existed, does not know some things because he didn't read them.
Pietro De Palma - Italy
I'm not going anywhere - I firmly intend to remain active in the mystery community and maybe hopefully resume blogging someday. I've been very touched by the reaction to this announcement - never had I suspected that I had such a loyal and enthusiastic following.
How do you intend to use and change my writing? I have no objection to this but I'd like to know more as I'm not sure to have understood you well. You can either reply here or send me an email to lechardxaviergmail.com
By the way, this post is now officially the most-commented in this blog's history! How ironic!
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