Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday potpourri - the REAL Paris Hilton! - the blogging debate cont'd - and a poem

The REAL Paris Hilton - there actually is one, I just had to check. God! Who would stay in a Hilton in Paris?!?

The debate over the mainstream press and blogging continues here - Brian Lehrer on WNYC radio (the New York City public radio outlet) widens the discussion, in case you're interested.

I've given further thought to yesterday's post on the literary blogging debate after talking with my friend Kate and am amending my comments: I hope no one misread me as saying that I think criticism (literary or otherwise) is not important. I take it seriously. I do think an educated, broadly read, and experienced point of view is desirable for criticism that is worth reading over time, but I do not think that a) there is anything inherent to people who have been hired to write for magazines or newspapers vs those that blog that makes them automatically better educated, more broadly read or even better writers or observers. b) I do not think it is inherently snobbish to value good scholarship or good writing - I value talent, taste and strong opinions. I am also not an anti-intellectual, saying everybody has equal abilities in writing, in reading for meaning, in integrating knowledge from one's reading and of the world into coherent opinions. But there is nothing inherent to being in print that automatically gives you more of these talents; c) there is nothing inherently bad about more opinions. If critics and journalists can trust their own writing then they can trust that readers who are interested in their talents will read them when they wish that format and when the quality warrants it; d) sometimes people want a short or more relaxed form, sometimes they want chatty, sometimes they want a "friend's" opinion and not one handed down from mount sinai - in this case there is plenty of that online and it is fun to share opinions with other people who love to read! But that discussion can be discerning and literate too. And some tripe occasionally makes it into print - somehow! In any event, the reader has the final word - they always have had. And now I've had my say. I'm done.

Now some better words by my friend and your's, Tomas Transtromer:

Dream Seminar
Four thousand million on earth.
They all sleep, they all dream.
Faces throng, and bodies, in each dream -
the dreamt-of people are more numerous
than us. But take no space...
You doze off at the theatre perhaps,
in mid-play your eyelids sink.
A fleeting double-exposure: the stage
before you out-manoeuvred by a dream.
Then no more stage, it's you.
The theatre in the honest depths!
The mystery of the overworked director!
Perpetual memorising of new plays...
A bedroom. Night.
The darkened sky is flowing through the room.
The book that someone fell asleep from lies still open
sprawling wounded at the edge of the bed.
The sleeper's eyes are moving,
they're following the text without letters
in another book -
illuminated, old-fashioned, swift.
A dizzying commedia inscribed
within the eyelids' monastery walls.
A unique copy. Here, this very moment.
In the morning, wiped out.
The mystery of the great waste!
Annihilation. As when suspicious men
in uniforms stop the tourist -
open his camera, unwind the film
and let the daylight kill the pictures:
thus dreams are blackened by the light of day.
Annihilated or just invisible?
There is a kind of out-of-sight dreaming
that never stops. Light for other eyes.
A zone where creeping thoughts learn to walk.
Faces and forms regrouped.
We're moving on a street, among people
in blazing sun.
But just as many - maybe more -
we don't see
are also there in dark buildings
high on both sides.
Sometimes one of them comes to the window
and glances down on us.

Have a good weekend.


Anonymous said...

Reading over your additional thoughts made me realize that I may have been misunderstood, or misrepresented myself, like you. It is easy to get caught up in the debate and forget to look at the many ways your comments can be taken. Thanks for the amendment.

Ted said...

Yes, Matt, that's exactly how I felt - caught up. I've been on both sides of opinions from critics - giving and receiving them - so I wanted to be fair.