Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Immediacy and intimacy

I am in the process of discovering the world of blogging, led here by close friends who have become fascinated by its possibilities. Blog is short for "web log" which sounds too technical, too bureaucratic. It has since been transformed into something more intimate, visceral and political, without, however losing the element of time implied by the word "log". When I "log" in to my blog, I am alone, in a hurry, writing for a, presumably, anonymous public who can then read my blog at and for leisure. Part of the intimacy of the blog comes from this exchange of loneliness, my being alone communicated to your being alone, through writing (it seems like more people actually write blogs than read them). Yet this intimacy is also linked to immediacy, both because blogs are written so quickly that our rational logic does not get in the way of our deeper emotions and unconscious thoughts, and because the web itself breaks down barriers, is an "immediate" medium.
I am constantly preoccupied with perfection, with refined style and grammar. As a professor, I have to police the inaccuracies of my students. But maybe their problems, our imperfections, come, not from too little reflection, but from too much. As in the book "Blink," too much logical thought can confuse our intuitions and emotions, causing us to second guess what we really know ho to do (react). Is the blog a new way to write in the blink? Maybe there's nothing new about it. We all know surrealist automatic writing techniques, but the great Stendhal wrote his masterpiece of fiction, "The Charterhouse of Parma," in 52 days. That's 625 pages of perfection in 52 days. In 1832. Without a typwriter, laundrymat, microwave, or any other "time-saving" device. Let's speed up our blogs, and keep blinking, keep writing...

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