5.16.2005

the flog of blogs falls mainly on the clod.

Comments are great, and Scott's last post got one that directed us to this article (registration req'd -Scott) about how terrible blogs are as a literary form.

The article's subheading compares blogs to weeds in the well-kempt garden of literature, which is obviously English Formal in style. I prefer to think of them as wildflowers, opening up the publishing world to seeds of thought that were scattered to the wind and took root in harsh environments... but you know, potato/potato.

In her opening paragraph, Ms. Victoria A. Brownworth writes,
Unfortunately, for the Internet generation, the blog is fast replacing the essay. But blogs are pretenders to the throne of true essay writing. They mimic the essay much as Eliza Doolittle mimicked the Queen's English before Professor Higgins got his hands on her. Like Eliza, blogs are captivating in their earnest, rapid-fire approach. But they are rarely, even at their best, true essays.
Interesting comparison, Ms. Brownstone. Are we given to understand that Eliza's speech, even at its best, was rarely true English? Additionally, I was under the impression that Eliza was captivating for the truth, naturalness, and inappropriateness of what she uttered into corseted high society, not for how quickly she said it. Perhaps we bloggers are just in need of a victorian linguist to torture us until our language conforms to that of high society and then whisk us off the streets and away to a fancy ball where we'll be mistaken for exotic foreign princesses, and then falls for us in the end when we melt his rigid linguistic heart.

I can't be sure if Ms. Brownnose has seen "My Fair Lady," (or "Pygmalion") but if she has, she must know that Eliza's motivation to learn "proper" English is not a lofty admiration of the Queen, but a desire to bend her own language to the norm of a bourgeois capitalist society that required her to speak "better English" so she could work in a flower shop. I'm well aware that if I don't behave properly at the newspaper society ball, and comport myself like an essayist, I'll never get paid and published. But, I get the feeling that this is what scares people like Ms. Brownearth: an army of writers doing it for free. In a few years, who will pay for a mediocre essay (n a newspaper, how's that for an outdated mode of communication?) when there are thousands of writers scribbling away in blogs for the sheer pleasure of sharing their ideas with others? If I were Ms. Browniepoints, I'd be worried too.

Brace yourself, Ms. Butterworth. The blog is to the new century what the pamphlet was to early America. Anonymous writers have a long history of sharing with anyone who cared to read (and not forcing themselves on those who don't). Amateur writers and idea-havers are claiming a place on the patch of ground called "publishing" and soon, the only credential that matters will be how many people like to read your blog.

3 comments:

libcat said...

I'm well aware that if I don't behave properly at the newspaper society ball, and comport myself like an essayist, I'll never get paid and published.

wait, wait. . . are you saying that to comport yourself like an essayist is or is not to behave properly?

people like Mistress Brownworth make me wonder.

Cristi said...

Well, in the newspaper world, i suppose, essayists should display what's known as "proper" behavior. But once you take out the "essayist" and replace it with "blogger," essayist propriety need no longer matter.

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