Archive for April, 2009

April 26, 2009

Meta-Blogging

by caroanna

   After being convinced that I won’t add another blog to the thousands or so that already exist and are mostly useless, I decided to start one anyway.

   Not because I think my opinions should be read or because they are right or because I’m a person of considerable importance that people are interested in. I was sceptical of blogging and twittering at the beginning. I thought there’s enough crappy writing around us; we don’t need more trivialities from people who are not the least exciting.

   Well, I guess that’s still true. It is hard to find interesting texts with a certain amount of style, but that’s not the point. Blogs that are not read still have their legitimacy. They are like diaries, only (at least mostly) not about love stories. They are minutes of people’s thoughts and emotions. Beneath every incorrect or boring sentence lies the truth of our society and our people.

   How can we know the story of a societal unit if not through their accounts, their memorabilia, collections and interests? That’s what we do when we want to find out more about the ancient Greeks. Only that for our society today, we have better ways of preservation.

   What about the trustworthiness of the bloggers’ accounts?

   Why should a text in a blog be less true than an entry in a writer’s scrapbook? It’s the same medium, just another channel. We will never know how true a document is. We have to rely on our instincts and try to read between the lines.

   If all this is not convincing try to see blogs as a pastime for people who like writing. They don’t force you to read it, you have to click on them. If you don’t do it, whatever, someone else will.

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April 22, 2009

If you’re interested in writing…

by caroanna

…check out those great tips by American writer Susan Beth Pfeffer. Although it all sounds simple and you maybe heard them all before, it’s encouraging to read them again and you feel like writing something immediately!

http://susanbethpfeffer.blogspot.com/2009/04/tips-for-young-writers.html

April 20, 2009

Do most authors love violence?

by caroanna

   Joyce Carol Oates says in the New York Times Magazine edition of April 12, 2009 that she considers “tragedy the highest form of art.” Well, I guess someone needed a catchy phrase to sound literary.

   Art is something that is created by a person. A tragedy is by definition something that happens to you, something that you cannot avert or influence. Basically, Oates combines words that have opposite characteristics. Now, I have never read any of Oates’ novels and based on the acuteness of her remarks, I highly doubt I will ever do that.

   Nevertheless, the question she was asked, about why she uses the topic of violence so extensively in her stories, is quite an interesting one. One important function of literature is, in my opinion, that of triggering emotions in a reader, either by commizerating with the protagonist or reliving his own experiences. Tragedy is one of the most intense emotional experiences of a person. Therefore, it is very effective if you want to engage your reader instead of just entertaining or informing.

April 19, 2009

Horace’s legacy

by caroanna

As I’m using one of his most famous phrases, I should respect Horace and add the writing where it originally appeared, including an English translation for those who decided to not spend time on learning a dead language (myself included):

From Odes 1.11:

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi Don’t ask (it’s forbidden to know) what final fate the gods have
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios what end the gods will give me or you, Leuconoe. Don’t play with Babylonian
temptaris numeros. ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. fortune-telling either. It is better to endure whatever will be.
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, Whether Jupiter has allotted to you many more winters or this final one
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare which even now wears out the Tyrrhenian sea on the rocks placed opposite
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi — be smart, drink your wine. Scale back your long hopes
spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida to a short period. While we speak, envious time will have {already} fled
aetas: carpe diem quam minimum credula postero. Seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow.