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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Riding Two Horses

Maria raises the dilemma of the blogger who tries to engage in both blogging and literary output. Is one done at the expense of the other? If one holds to the view that blogging is conversation and not literature, as I have, then it becomes an important and potentially troubling question for the blogger who wants to engage in both worlds.

Maria gave me a scare when she lamented that her poetry has been mostly on hold since she started blogging. Was this a prelude to an announcement of retirement from the blogosphere? It would be a blow to lose her so soon after she started.

Fortunately, Beth, of The Cassandra Pages, who shares Maria’s desire to produce both blogging and other forms of writing, succeeds in reassuring Maria that blogging is a legitimate genre in its own right.

Maria responds, “having raised the question, I already knew the answer: I am not about to give up blogging....” Whew!!

This exchange between Beth and Maria, plus some outstanding blog posts of a personal nature that I’ve encountered lately, are forcing me to rethink my position about blogging as a literary genre.

However, I am definitely not one to assess this question. My opinion on the matter, even if I had a coherent one, wouldn’t much matter anyway. Arguing intellectual propositions is not my strong suit, and it’s not why I blog. But I do wonder whether a new genre is coming into being before our very eyes. And I care that gifted bloggers like Maria experience a sense of artistic legitimacy in putting forth their marvelous efforts in this sphere.

To that end, I’m considering engaging in a bit of metablogging of some of the best of personal blogging that I encounter—writing that pulls me in with as much force as a piece of “literature.”

Beth—in responding to Maria-- has perfectly articulated the experience that will guide me: “When I read your prose, it feels like I'm experiencing an intimate literary form. The care you take with it is absolutely evident, as is your talent.”

So stay tuned. This is a proposition in progress.

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