What is Musement?
Musement is a weekly newsletter about the technology, culture, and social practices of literacy ranging from Gilgamesh to GPT. I cover literary history, books about books, libraries, printing presses, the book trade, literacy education, and whatever else I’m reading about at the moment. I am especially interested in the internet’s challenge to writing as the primary binding tool of our culture. I am especially drawn to eccentric thinkers, bizarre connections, and hopeless causes.
Subscribe to get an essay in your inbox every weekend, along with monthly roundups of links to noteworthy places.
I am writing on Substack because it’s simple, direct, and writing-focused: no widgets, no tricky embedding or fiddling with code, no social media buttons, no cookies or trackers. Most important of all, there are no advertisements. Comments are disabled on all posts because I don’t have the time or interest to moderate them. I already have a day job, so I won’t ask for money; the best thing you can do to support me is subscribe, share, and most importantly, enjoy.
Who am I?
My name is on the URL. On weekdays, I’m a high school English teacher and returned Peace Corps volunteer in Philadelphia. I should state upfront that I am not an academic or specialist—not a trained paleographer, codicologist, philologist, classicist, historian, philosopher, anthropologist, reading specialist, or anything else: I’m just an amateur with a big reading habit (100+ books per year), writing to educate myself and entertain others. If my work is any good, it’s only as a reflection of my sources and their work, which makes mine possible.
If you like my writing, feel free to look at my old blog, Armenian Sketches, written while I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Armenia.