Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Crock Blogic

So, let's say your co-worker writes something on her blog along the lines of: "Today was a bad day. My husband beat me again, and my tests came back positive." You see her at work the next day. You say, "Gee, Mary, I was sorry to hear about the bad news. Is there anything I can do to help?" and Mary says, "Fuck off! Mind your own business."

An hypothetical, to be sure, but similar things have happened to me. How are you supposed to react when people post things on their blog that are intimate, unflattering, or seem like cries for help?

This is clearly an instance of lack of any meaningful distinction between public and private. But what is it? The Blogic Sphere? A space in which, in effect, people can gossip about themselves, in which private (intimate) self becomes public (textual) persona - though not necessarily the same persona as in the blogger's other texts. A space in which one is invited to sympathy with a virtual subject who may or may not exist "in the flesh." In which desire for publicity (or attention), or even a distancing irony, may coexist with painful but apparently sincere (or at least sententious) self-representation?

I'm getting dizzy and have to stop now.

1 comment:

Kris H. said...

I share your dizziness.

The Blogosphere is indeed a quivering intersection between private agony and public notice.

At least, it can be.

When I was 12 or so I had a diary in which I intermittently recorded pieces from my life until I was about 17 or so. It's as painful and embarrassing to read it now as it was to live it then; ah teenage anguish!

But it wasn't really intended for anyone else to read. It had a little lock with a tiny key, and I did keep it locked up and away from both parents and siblings.

Some people write blogs like that diary, but without the lock. Others are much more subtle and oblique.

I personally tend not to write anything online that I wouldn't put on a billboard along I-70. I don't imagine most of the world cares, at any rate, but astonishingly I'm still capable of feeling embarrassed.

Look at me but don't talk to me about what you see? Meh.

The point of writing is to be read. Well, that, and because you have to.