The Pleasure of the Blog: The Early Novel, the Serial, and the Narrative Archive

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Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Associate Professor of English and Media Studies, Pomona College

Join us in this upcoming Claremont Discourse, Wednesday, October 11th at 4:15 PM in the Founders Room of the Honnold/Mudd Library:

Blogs have in the last couple of years loomed large in the Western imagination, but the ideas about blogs that have circulated both through the mainstream media and through academia have been extremely limited in scope. In the popular imagination, there is a distinction between "blogs," which are assumed on some level to be doing public work, whether political, technical, academic, or journalistic, and "online diaries," which are primarily personal, if not exactly private. These personal blogs are too often dismissed as the narcissistic rantings of teenage girls and other hysterics, a nonsensical - and, not incidentally, hyper-feminine - form of "oversharing." Such a dismissal, however, overlooks the important work that such personal blogs are doing in the construction of an emergent literary form. In fact, Western literary history can shed some important light on the current state of personal blogging, with the English novel rooted in the domestic practices and personal writing of middle-class eighteenth-century women. New technologies are providing for new forms of self-presentation.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, author of The Anxiety of Obsolescence: The American Novel in the Age of Television (published in summer 2006 by Vanderbilt University Press), will discuss the evolution and unique pleasures of this new literary form, one that merges older traditions of seriality with the newer mode of the database, creating not simply a narrative but rather a first-person narrative archive of the self.

1 Comment

very interesting, but I don't agree with you

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