INTRODUCTION & ORIENTATION
This blog about a fictional Iowa town began naïvely enough, as a record of the project’s origins. By 2010 when the blog began, a faltering mind had taken its toll: several of the contributors to the first exhibition in 2007 were already fading from memory. Now nine years later, the more than 1000 entries have fluctuated between the fictive narrative of Agincourt’s past and present and my own very personal thoughts, observations, and tentative conclusions about the project itself, its shifting intentions, and the discrepancy between Howard Tabor (my avatar in Agincourt today) and my own voice, which is more strident than Howard’s and far too political. This is, after all, the Age of Trump.
The entries here, beside their mixing of voices, are also in reverse order, so the shift in intent, in point of view, may be cloudy, if not actually spastic. As a corrective, I offer here some aids for accessing content, beyond the simple search engine. You may have already noticed two pages in the menu bar: Who’s Who and A gazetteer of places in Agincourt, Fennimore County and the Muskrat Valley. Each of these is rich with names and brief summaries that may whet your imaginative appetite. Use the search feature (or, in some cases, the embedded links) to track them down.
Soon there will be a new page — A Timeline of Agincourt History — once again, a way to recollect and record, and a mechanism for moving the narrative forward, identifying holes in the story as well as inconsistencies and outright contradictions — once you’ve told a lie, there’s no turning back. A full-blown Index, however, is probably beyond my skills. So, if you can buy into the project itself — otherwise why would you be reading this? — these three links will enable you to learn more and, perhaps, be moved to participate.
Place-making and Story-telling
As you may wander through these now-1300 blog entries, try to keep this one simple idea in mind: The Agincourt Project is about the intimate relationship between place-making and story-telling. You can do one without the other. But the fusion of those two intentions can produce phenomenal results; each will reinforce the other, no matter where you may begin. Write and tell me about your own experiences.
PS [19.10.2018]: Some new folks have come this afternoon, asking to play in the sandbox of history, which always excites me because it suggests one of two things: 1) I’m a special kind of crazy and they might be as well, or 2) they haven’t quite figured out what this is all about and they’re leaping without looking. Strangely, I hope its #1 that motivates them. Their one observation is that this is not the most user-friendly website, which I must take to heart and try to remedy.