I recently read a quote from Jorge Luis Borges wherein he mentioned his distaste for meeting fellow well-renowned authors whose conversations consisted of unappealing and base topics like 'smutty stories', and unintellectual discussion. He argued that they didn't seem like real authors and instead viewed writing as a craft, a technical skill they learned. It seems to me that he would believe they write for a living.
His discussion of this type of social behaviour somewhat echoes the feeling I have whenever I post anything on this website. Can I really be an author of any merit if I'm posting up pictures of motorcycles and funny videos to accompany them? "That's what adolescents and teenagers do on their walls." Not what ambitious authors (too much alliteration) spend their time on, I would think most of the literati believe.
At least I'm not posting videos of myself in the bathroom in the vein of peep culture, if that's the right term.
And I keep hearing it: this technology will destroy us. I was at the Trillium Book Prize presentation here in Toronto last Tuesday and the speaker, an anchor for the news, mentioned how Twitter and Facebook and the Internet in general is destroying creativity. That's the word she used - destroying.
I looked around - it was mainly older people in the audience whom I didn't think were steeped in technology as much as my generation - and it felt as though the anchor was appealing to the older crowd by persuading them that younger generations would never have the amount of potential and creativity that they have. Through her words the anchor was reassuring the audience that their aspirations in Canadian literature were safe against the pressure of youth. It was a source of discouragement as I left the ceremony - I knew that in part, the anchor could have mentioned what she did b/c she wanted to challenge and rile up the younger crowd present, but that didn't seem to be what was supposed to be gleaned... .
And I know that seems to be biased, almost angry thinking on my part, but this comes back to what I'll always believe - the fact that I'm a part of movements in increased technology doesn't mean I've lost anything. If anyone thought that the writing on this website showcased the extent of my skill and was a premonition for my actual published/disseminated work, they'd be mistaken. This is simple internet writing. Although it's associated with my name and shown to the world, it's still just the Internet. And although what I've posted may seem as if I'd share a smutty story with Borges if he were still here and receptive of my company, even if I didn't see that quote I'd know who I was dealing with and what was proper.
I would never post my actual work on this website because of copyright issues with this server and other people stealing my material. Real authors don't share their work until it's done. I've made the mistake of mentioning the smallest and broadest aspects of my work and I've never felt good afterwards.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I'm writing a study of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, in comparison to Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly.
I like Ghosts, it's intelligent and accessible. I won't reiterate all the points of my study though.
I'd rather talk about more superficial (?) points such as his facial hair. What came to my mind was James Joyce's goatee. It was surprising to learn that Joyce wrote a poem about Ghosts and used it in his own work.
Maybe I should have a facial hair style. But by that token, maybe I should wear white evening dress suits like Tom Wolfe and Marshall McLuhan. And take a walk at an exact certain time every day like Immanuel Kant. Obviously I'm kidding, but who knows. There's a quote I came across in an issue of Contemporary Verse: "I like it better when artists look like artists." An undercurrent of thought - do I need to adopt a certain style or practice in order to seem like a progressive creative force?
Of course not.