18 March 2005

"Little House in the Big Words"

Old Hag (who already does a fantastic job as it is) lets loose a well-deserved rant at the situation in which many bloggers find themselves:

"Did prehistoric man torture himself about the Elk hunt he just didn’t have time to etch in red clay onto the cave wall that month? Were nineteenth century gentlewomen all, How could I have chosen the calling card with the lily, it will take me eight months to use them up, perhaps nine, and then FLOWERS WILL BE OUT WHAT WAS I THINKING???."

I was reminded of sunlight, of all things. In An American Childhood, Annie Dillard vents her young grief at the inevitable loss of moments:

Some days I felt an urgent responsibility to each change of light outside the sunporch windows. Who would remember any of it, any of this our time, and the wind thrashing the limbs outside? Somebody had to do it, somebody had to hang on to the days with teeth and fists, or the whole show had been in vain. That it is impossible never entered my reckoning. For work, for a task, I had never heard the word.

It's a terrible pressure, whatever form it takes (information or memories). Yet just yesterday it occurred to me that blogs can also work like a muggle version of the pensieve--a place for excess thoughts and fragments to be shored against ruin. It may be possible for this medium to contribute to our sanity, not take away from it. Maybe. (Oh, and Scott's reasons are pretty good too.)

Meanwhile, I can't get enough of it either. This morning I found The Count of Monty Cristo speaking about an exhibit that

includes such entertaining anecdotes as the way Wittgenstein used to berate himself in front of his students at Cambridge, slapping and shouting epithets at himself ("You have a stupid professor! Do not listen to anything he says! Ist eine dummkopf!") and whatnot. I'm perhaps most fond of the tidbit about his inimitable passion for American detective movies, and the way he would rush out after teaching class to sit in the very front row of the cinema, silently munching a hot cross bun, utterly rapt before the action unfolding on screen.

And my heart was filled with joy.

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