Monday, July 30, 2007

Dilletantism And Blogging

A question that so called literary blogger's must continually ask themselves is the worth of their opinions expressed about the things that they write, this writer not excluded. Under the garb of criticism, a whole host of senseless twaddle finds its way in this medium, which though superficially alluring, is eventually jarring to the senses. Because one must write, one finds oneself getting immune to the superficiality of opinions expressed and even carried away occasionally by praise expressed herein, praise that sometimes helps flagging literary self esteem.

I found an interesting post on this subject, quite randomly I must admit, on the internet recently about this subject. Racquel Recuero has questioned whether blogging is actually literature? For every Swift and Johnson writing in the 18th century, a host of other writers wrote junk, he tells us. The new technology of blogging, he reminds us, has unleashed a geyser of sludge. And in the future, he warns, no one will read this sludge, written by drunken college students and ex-spouses. He describes the blog's mostly as rants, meanderings, neurotic, chaotic, lacking purpose and structure. He does not deplore blogging, only that he finds it is necessary to understand what worth it will have in the future. He is aware of why people might want to write but is sensitive to what they should be writing.

It is only bad literature that has made good literature great. Whether people burden us with weekend parties or the movies they rant about or whether it is some other reason to write, blog writing, mute and inglorious, can still support more ambitious efforts. Mercifully, he recognizes blog's as literature, but that is besides the point. I think he raises serious questions that blogger's need to address.

I find some literature blog's, read randomly on the internet, actually raving conversations rather than serious writing. The purpose, if these blog's have a purpose, must be to understand rather than to sermonize, to attempt to do so rather than base one's opinions on pre-conceived prejudices. It is exceedingly difficult for Europeans to actually understand the nuances in an Asian or South American literary genre and vice versa. To claim to actually get between the sentences would be a foolish thing to do. One must let the snow fall on one's shoulders, feel the icy winds of winter before one can call snow romantic, deserts beautiful and dusty plains dusty.However, language gives us a kind of unwritten license, poets have fancy, they imagine about countries not seen, faces not touched, loves not loved and out of that imagination we get true literature sometimes.

What matters is earnestness in writing and not expressing half-baked opinions about things not seen, without evidence, without knowledge. One must fall in love to understand the pain of this emotion. I do not exclude myself from these faults and sometimes wonder at my own temerity to write, but write we must, even if these blog's exist in an artificial nether no-world, at the crossing of true literature and chaotic mumbling.


Alok said...

I never understand what makes people so jittery about blogging. surely, you should believe in readers' judgments too. Let him read whatever he prefers to.

It is not like something that you subscribe to or force fed. Don't like it, then don't read it.

Kubla Khan said...

I think that you have not realized the main thrust of either my post or the blog i quoted. Believing in someones judgement is allright, writing sense, and not like a charlatan is the writers.
Anyone can read what he or she prefers, but a certain introspection on the writers part is needed too.
YOUR....dont like it, dont read it sounds a bit kneejerk and profoundly impulsive.
Reading brings an introspection, a calm philosophy, pure pragmatic reading, for the heck of it, does not exist.
Just discussing this, you see.

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Alok said...

I don't understand this need for judgment and evaluation. Nobody is encroaching on anyone's space. Unlike say TV or newspaper, blogs don't automatically feed you with some crap. you read a blog because you explicitly choose to click that one link among many others. And it doesnt take much effort to close that one window and move to something else perhaps more worthwhile on the internet too.

We should welcome it for the freedom it brings both to the readers and writers.

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed reading this ,but i find the ,"if you don't like it , don't read it " point redundant, if i don't want to eat somewhere i wont , but if most of the restaurants in town sell terrible food , maybe i'll just stop eating out altogether,and never find the good one .And if all the public "wants"(i would say has been conditioned to appreciate) is fast food, should it be treated as equal to great cooking ? what happens to nutrition then ? Why cannot a good chief give others tips ? of course what is good and bad is partially subjective (duh) but if there were no such thing as truth , then it wouldn't be true that there wasn't.Mistake this for snobbery if you like , but you can keep your dan brown and i'll keep my shakespeare, and if we did a brain scan as each of us read , which do you think would stimulate the intelligence more ?