Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I magpie

why oh wry... did I choose to go into link-blogger overdrive when Jarrett was watching ;)

...and link to the first available hoist I see. Luckily the Creature of the Shade has found better examples.

...and overdo the brevity on yesterday's original bit of writing (a brief nod to the writerly content claim) I kept pruning the paragraph back. The line didn't look quite right.
(And then, another level of fear prevented me from ending the post with a twist.
That superstition about pre-empting things, the causality of a casual joke.)

Still, I don't really mind being called a magpie. ...

Boynton occupies an interesting bit of turf: Not much extended writing, just links, quotations, and a sentence or two. And yet it is, as she calls it, a "wry writerly blog," wry to an arid extreme that's off the American scale. The whole form -- literary blog without much writing -- may be distinctively Australian.

Such observations about my style and description have got me thinking.
I happened to call myself a writerly blog (and boynton for that matter) in that first flush of enthusiasm when you know nothing and it's all frontierland.
I soon realised that I wouldn't be talking much about writing or posting a great deal of original material. Even though I am always inspired by writers who do, and bloggers who have mastered the form of brief unfolding observation, or those who try to forge a hybrid of the link and the thinking, or those who try to engage with the form itself. And I still admire the essential coolness of the pure link blogger, where the links themslves do the talking.
(And meanwhile, is there sometimes poetry or a joke in the link itself? The smallest unit of blog currency.)

I remarked rather pretentiously in the air to another blogger the other day, that one of the hardest things about blogging is getting the balance right bewteen original material and links. I have so far resisted solutions like multiple blogs or sidelinks, or outsourcing or even the radical move of updating my description (along with the vintage template.)

(with apologies for the outbreak of meta, and/or the lack of links...and apparently the permalinks are on the blink?)

Comments: I magpie

I hope you don't fall into self-questioning on my account. Do it because it's fun, or don't do it.

To me, you arrange shiny found objects in a highly literary way. Perhaps it's just a mood you fell into while I was watching, but it's still an interesting blog-genre for category-hounds like me.

Cheers, Jarrett (of, not in)
Posted by Jarrett at February 10, 2005 02:35 AM

Problem is, original content can be terribly dribbly if one isn't careful. Much safer to be terse.
Posted by Kent at February 10, 2005 03:23 AM

In was unforgivable.I hope you forgive me.

You are right about the F word.
And it's not as much fun as it was.
But your post coincided with this line of thought - possibly always present.

However - these sort of infrequent posts don't sit well with me - especially after sitting for half a day. Maybe meta needs the privacy of a Comments Box? So I have placed half in that extended entry
in lieu of censoring altogether.

Felt too dribbly as Kent might say.

Posted by boynton at February 10, 2005 08:21 AM

Aren't you and Kent just dramatizing the process of writing? Many of us in writerly blogdom use the blog to dribble freely. The we come back and see if any of the spatterings look like Art. But most of us don't get art without dribbling first.
Posted by Jarrett at February 10, 2005 05:47 PM

A sound approach.
I wrote elsewhere this week that a free-writing space is a rare thing. A lesson about freeing up writing that needs to be learnt and re-learnt.

Though I do like terse, and suspect terse works well with readers who don't have a lot of time.
I am getting to understand the clear distinction between the terse post and the chatty comments parlour. It evolves that way.
Posted by boynton at February 10, 2005 07:25 PM

Indeed, Jarrett. Unfortunately the blog doesn't give us the chance to edit out the stains and keep the shiny words.
I suppose I should give up that dream.

And, IMHO one person's dribble is another's champagne. Which makes it even more muddled.
Posted by Kent at February 10, 2005 11:06 PM

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