More from Cassandra
I’ve mentioned the Cassandra Pages before. Tonight, catching up, I find two entries that give the lie to all those idiots who hold that blog writing must somehow be inferior to the real writing of journalists and the like. The more recent is on the haves and have-nots of Vermont. The other is on music—on playing music, losing oneself in the adventure of sight-reading a new piece or of tackling once more an old familiar piece.
Blogging isn’t writing: see Karlin Lillington, “Gibson Kicks the Blogging Habit”, Wired News 28 Apr 2003. A quote from Gibson at the Utne Review (7 May 2003): “There’s no risk involved. Unless, if you’re accustomed to playing for higher stakes, it’s the risk of some edge being taken off your game”.
People seem to be confusing a medium with a way of using that medium. Blogging software makes available a structure (entries, typically brief, typically in reverse chronological order) that some people treat as if it were a sketchpad, and others as if it were akin to the feuilleton—written on a short deadline, and thus distinct from the sort of work to which an author devotes years of labor, but written with the same care as its equivalent in print.
I don’t think the journal-keeping of Kafka or Emerson threw them off their game. If I read old entries here or in my journals, I certainly find passages that I think could be improved; but the same is true of work composed more slowly. I tend therefore to agree with Valéry: “Un poèmeA poem is never finished. It is always an accident that puts an end to the writing of it, and makes it public. n’est jamais achevé. C’est toujours un accident qui le termine, c’est-à-dire qui le donne au public”.