Blogs are a first person narrative in real time.
Can’t wait to see how mine turns out. I do so hope it has a happy ending. Don’t we all?
I certainly like this definition and the way in which it plays with the two forms of immediacy (personal and temporal) associated with blogging. There’s an interesting wrinkle or two here, one that I keep trying to grasp. First, I’m struck by Elouise’s mention of the much desired “happy ending.” Much of the writing I do (I won’t speak for anyone else) anticipates certain conclusions (finishing an article or book, securing a happy relationship, getting a tenure-track job), some of which–of course–entail new beginnings. Then again, as Margaret Atwood reminds us, there’s really only one way of ending a story. But this sense of anticipation seems structurally crucial to my blogging, and may be relevant to others.
I’m also working through some of the contradictions raised by the attempt to capture “real time,” the temporal immeidacy of blogging, and the project of the archive. In Mary Ann Doane’s latest book, she comments on the tension in recent technologies of representation between the desire for immediacy and the wish to archive. Doane comments that
“The obsession with instantaneity and the instant … leads to the contradictory desire of archiving presence. For what is archivable loses its presence, becomes immediately the past” (82).
In this sense, I’d like to add to the notion of blogs as “first person narrations in real time” the concept of the after-image, where what appears to be instantaneous, present, might actually be marked (perhaps usefully) by delay.
There is certainly something imprecise about imposing a visual metaphor onto the textual medium of blogging, but in a strange way, I think it fits. Both film (in its original form) and blogging are characterized by similar desires–the desire to produce a stable representation of the present. Both are characterized by their sequential structure, although film’s sequentiality (24 frames per second) is much more structured than the blogger’s. And, of course, blogging is much more explicitly characterized by a subjective frame of reference than the motion picture camera, which advertised itself as an objective image of reality. Hmmm….I still have lots to think about here.