Monday, July 03, 2006

On writing, blogging and 'authors'

Kerryn Goldsworthy has this fascinating thing to say about the 'author' of fiction:
"The notion of the 'implied author' is a useful one: it's what might be called the writer's best self, her wisest, her most adult, her most knowing and self-knowing self. In fiction or poetry the 'person who is speaking' just is not the same as that flawed being who ignores the dishes, fobs off her editors and creditors, loses patience with her elderly father, and swears at the person ringing from the call centre in Mumbai. None of this stuff makes its way to the pristine page: the implied author is a construct, a sort of distillation of all the best (and only the best) stuff that the writer has to say."
I wondered how much this would be true for bloggers and blogging. Not much, if we take the grumpy whingeing of some bloggers at face value, or believe utterly the kiss-and-tell-all revelations of others, or cop the opinionated political posturing of others (like yours truly).

But then again, I suspect that all these ways of expressing our selves through blogs are not far from that idea of the 'blogger as fiction' – to be the most outrageous, explicit, banal, insightful, etc etc. Anything to convince our readers that we are worth reading, and to keep coming back?

[Link via Barista]

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At July 03, 2006 4:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you picked that up - its a really interesting part of the article that deserves its own attention in terms of the blogosphere.

It's true that the act of writing enables me to improve a bit on the self that is writing, because it is more considered, I can hear myself better, and I can rewrite (or fiddle, as some people have noticed on their feeds).

But there is a deep connection to the person underneath the words. I have yet to meet a blogger whose words and tone I like that I haven't responded to positively in real life.

The warts, the mumbling and the random arm waving may slow things down, but only in the superficial entertainment department.

- barista


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