Saturday, September 6, 2008

Virum Monumenta Priorum

YGQJ, the former web address of this blog, had the double defect of being impronuntiable and impossible to remember. It made sense, though. If you look at the chop at the top of the page, you will see the four characters that spell out the blog's Chinese name: Yáng Guǐ Qiǎn Jiàn, which is a rather highfalutin way of saying "The Foreign Devil's Humble Opinions." But I had long ago taken to referring to the blog as the Foreign Devil, so it was high time for it to have a shorter and more English name.

But when I tried to change the URL, I found that already existed, and while it was wholly without content, the author, one Ronan, had provided for it a singular title:
From West to East, or, travels in the principal parts of Asia, being an authentick account of voyages in China and Japan, containing an accurate description of whatever is most remarkable in those countries, with accounts of customs and manners of the Chinese. Intermixt with great variety of modern adventures and surprizing accidents: being the truest and best remarks extant on those countries.
Now the Foreign Devil does not discuss Japan, and makes no claim to be "truest and best" of anything, but it was an unusual sensation to see a blog——even a failed blog——with a purpose so similar to my own here.

But hasn't that purpose been achieved? I am in New Haven again, in the great State of Connecticut (great at least until the fourth of November, when people on TV will probably just call it "Connecticut" again). And I'm at a university to boot, in the very heart and mind of the West. I don't have the heart, however, to shut down the Foreign Devil, and so, Ladies and Gentlemen, esteemed Readers of the Foreign Devil: watch this space.

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