Essay

A Web Log Is

I do not write in a blog as I do in my journal, although I could and others do. My journals, as alluded to before in other entries, have characteristics different from those of most blogs. Audience for one thing is key–although writing to oneself in a blog is possible, I do not imagine that that would amount to the same thing as writing to myself inside the confines of a bound book I carry with me, along with pen or pencil to write with, for sure, always having pen and paper with me, as Alan Ginsburg once told me and a friend of mine in his office at Brooklyn College one afternoon in the mid eighties, I forget why we were meeting. I know that some blogs do mix private journal and public blog, which then becomes more a form of exhibitionism. (I do recall he hd said he liked the energy of my poems when a friend who had been interning with him, collecting and collating his papers now almost three decades ago.)

As I have said, journals are presumably private, allowing for more forms of exchange, verbally. Blogs are public from the onset’ we assume they will be read by someone. Is the blog herein a column; can entries be essays, can they be letters. Of course they can. I guess too many genres can go into it? A blog is almost entirely plastic in the way a novel is a plastic genre. No? Yes, the novel is a thoroughly plastic genre. I recall the great Russian critic Bakhtin having said as much now nearly three quarters of a century ago. I have not forgotten the premise, nor the theses in variation of his essays collected in translation here in the states under the title, The Dialogic Imagination: the novel being one of literary histories latest, that is, youngest genres, it has not undergone a petrification, a fossilizing effect, that other literary genres have undergone and can be traced, the genres that arose in antiquity. This plasticity that the novel has makes it unique among the various literary genres . . . a blog just might be as plastic?

This weblog is; and what is, is.

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