El artificio de la escritura / The artifice of writing

viernes, 12 de octubre de 2007

Another voice on journal writing

Looking at the edition of Tennesse William's Notebooks, prepared by Margaret Bradham Thorton and published by Yale University Press last year, I found several suggestive comments by Williams about writing and in particular the writing a journal. As a blog in strict sense is a personal journal made public, what a traditional diarist writes about his dedicating time to a journal should apply also to a blog, with some adjustments to account for the potencial public character of this form. It is quite clear to me that the entries I write for this blog differ in several non-essential ways from the ones I might write in a journal intended only for my own use. These differences should be quite apparent in the reading of what Tennessee Williams has to say about the matter:

"Keeping a journal --he writes-- is a lonely man's habit, it betrays the vices of introspection and social withdrawal, even a kind of Narcissism. . ."

"Evening closes down --he comments in another entry-- and I turn to my journal for lack of anything else to do."

Both the diarist and the blogger are narcissistic individuals, and one is tempted to believe that the main difference between them is the avalability of the web for the present introspective and withdrawn lonely man. After all Williams himself comments about his desire to see his notebooks published as a book, adding that they might not be as literary as his other works. The main differences, then, acount for the quickness and spontaneity of the diary. For the blog one tend to write in a more structured and stylistically communicative form.

To counteract the mostly negative characterization of diary keeping, Williams comments that writing a journal ". . . has certain things to recommend it." He basically refers to the diary as a record of the writer's errors, and that with time everything is forgotten and life continues the same as always. "And of course --it concludes with perhaps the most convincing reason for spending time taking personal notes--, as usual, I am doing only what I feel like doing."

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