Here are my analytics on academia.edu. My page is regularly in the top 0,5%. This is quite an achievement as I have never been “recommended”. Further, there is a small but vocal network of blogs, twitter accounts, and facebook pages that have decided to proceed as if I do not exist.
When I first began this blog, five and a half years ago, I wanted to participate in the many conversations concerning Continental Philosophy that seemed to be proliferating at that time. After all, that is my area of expertise, it is what I spend most of my free time reading and thinking about. I thought that I had a unique point of view to express, and that my long experience of studying and living in France (35 years) would give me at least some legitimity.
However, I was not welcomed with open arms, but most often treated as persona non grata. I was to a surprisingly large extent ignored, condescended to, browbeaten, or blocked by those who feign commitment to discussion and democracy. Little by little I began to see who cited or discussed with whom, and a pattern began to emerge. These were no merely individual slights and oversights, but a concerted division and distribution of intellectual territories and niche-monopolies.
Slowly I became involved in a different, more diffuse and less vocal assembly. A gestalt-switch took place, reversing foreground and background. The “background” is composed to a large extent of free-floating un-affiliated non-dogmatic elements, who are not intent on seeking membership or status-symbols, but are genuinely open and curious.
I write for them.