Over the years, since taking over the Hermetic Library, I’ve been bemused that I’ve been called enigmatic, anonymous, mysterious, and various other similar epithets as the Librarian. I’ve come to joke about myself as having a secret identity … the Enigmatic Super Villain known only as the Librarian!
Well, hello there! My name is John Griogair Bell and I’m the Librarian. Good to see you!
One of the first things I did when I took over was to create an About section with information about the library, its history, the founder, and, also, about me. I also added a Contact page along with providing contact information on all the pages. I also started all the social media accounts, and tried to be sure provide information that I was behind each of them. I’ve always tried to make clear who is responsible for the library; I don’t hide my identity. If the library is involved in a project, you’ll know because I say so; I don’t hide that I’m involved in any of my projects. For me, “Librarian” is merely an alias related to subject matter, and definitely not a sockpuppet.
To be brief, you can take a gander at the specific page at the library with my short bio or wander on over to my personal website to find out quite a lot more about me, and those will certainly get you started. Suffice to say I’m ridiculously easy to find online. Oh, and you might also be specifically interested in il Bagatino on my personal website where you can read a few of my esoteric-oriented documents I have put online.
But, as clear as I’ve been about who’s responsible for the library, I’ve also tried to be be sure that my activity on the site is about the material not about me. My activity related to the library has been ultimately about encouraging people to become involved with the materials there. Although I’ve occasionally posted a few pieces of my own work, such as a couple of book reviews and a few attempts to help analyze current topics related to the subject matter of the library, so far I’ve tried to keep that to a minimum and only done so when there’s definitely connection to the library.
Even still, when I post material to the blog that has an editorial voice which expresses my own personal opinions, I’ve tried to always put those in the Opinion Pages category to help make clear when I’m speaking for myself. Although I have not used the library site to promote my own work, and I do not have a section of my writing on the site, I have on a couple of occasions posted to the blog some of my own writing or creative work, which you can gander at by browsing the tag John Griogair Bell.
There are a few of these posts I thought I’d mention, briefly and certainly not exhaustively, as a representative example of what I’ve actually posted over the years. Take a gander:
- My review of Frank Portman’s YA novel Andromeda Klein at “Andromeda Klein is unrepentantly and uniquely kickass”
- My analysis of the controversy over the ideal of a Queer Gnostic Mass at “ My Right Foot, or the Potentially Awkward Issue of Inappropriately Adoring Body Parts ”
- Some of my (uncomfortably informed by personal experience) reflections and analysis of dark triadic / tetradic behaviours at “A preliminary initial Thelemic analysis of Stalkers, Trolls and Antagonists”
- My analysis (now somewhat dated by later information from Hymenaeus Beta) analysis of the Fill / Kill change controversy at “My Life with the Fill Kill Kult”
- Also, I recently did my first interview for the library, with JJ Brine, at “In conversation with JJ Brine about Vector Gallery“.
Well, as hard as I’ve tried to both be clear about who I am and that I am the person responsible for the library while also avoiding the conflict of interest in using the site to promote my own work, writing and art; I’m starting to consider that it is time to go ahead and be a bit more indulgent.
Lately I have started to wonder about my own involvement in the library, and whether I should re-think my hesitation to speak in my own voice, to post my own work, to engage as myself. I’ve been thinking I should be more actively involved in creating content as well as being the voice of the library, posting in my own work, my own thoughts; and I’ve been considering making a commitment to doing so regularly as part of the Patron campaign for the library. I already spend a considerable and surprising amount of time working on tasks related to the library, but there could certainly be more.
Many years ago I used to run a Citadel BBS, or two, and had a daily practice of going through the board and posting daily, including a specific forum where I would force myself to post some bit of creative writing every day. In the last few years, at a Loch Lomond concert, I was introduced to the work of Paleo, who spent a year travelling and creating a song every day. One of the ideas I’ve been considering is making one of the future milestones for the Patron campaign that I make a commitment to post new work regularly instead of rarely.
For example, I could do more actual book reviews, interviews, articles and essays, and so forth. Of course, I’m also very interested in not only continuing to release Hermetic Library Albums from the Anthology Project, but I’d love to be able to revive the idea of doing a journal. And, quite a few other ideas that have been in mind for the library over the years.
I guess, ultimately, my question to you is this: Do you value what I’ve been doing with the Hermetic Library? Do you want more? Do you want to help support this work and add your voice to what the future for the library might become?
The best way to let me know is to become a Patron now and help reach the goal to announce the next Hermetic Library Album, and to support the future of the library.
If you appreciate the Hermetic Library site, or follow along with any of the blogs, tumblogs and social media related to the library, then please consider becoming an active Patron. Of course, there are a variety of ways you can help support and participate in the work of the library, but adding your voice as a Patron to this new campaign will be very much appreciated. Plus, this is your chance to help make Magick, Music and Ritual 10 happen in 2014!
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, comments or want to talk about the anthology project or the library, feel free to contact the librarian!