Dispatches ‘n Dashes.
October 23, 2008 § 1 Comment
Spent the morning reading Olena Kalytiak Davis’s shattered sonnets love cards and other off and back handed importunities, which I have trouble even remembering the title of, & maybe it was last night’s Emily Dickinson extravaganza, but the gal’s got a shitload of Dickinson shout-outs in this little volume.
So, I spent some time reading a week-long blog she banged out from her home in Anchorage, & checking to see whether or not anyone’s done any Google-able writing about Ms. Davis & Ms. Dickinson, & thus far, I haven’t turned anything up.
I feel like I’ve discovered something, something that could easily turn into a paper topic for my Dickinson seminar, & it occurred to me, reading Davis’s blog, how, like Dickinson’s letters, blogging itself is somehow outside of genre. Embedded poems, streams-of-consciousness, a form that allows for (encourages? demands?) disorganization & openness, or at least, manipulates plays with revision. See what I just did? Emily would’ve done it — did it — because she didn’t have an eraser, not because she wanted to leave something metatextual extra for the reader — or did she have something else altogether in mind?
Does blogging allow us to use the digital page like a field, as Susan Howe suggested Dickinson does? Are our blog entries really more like drawings than they are like pieces of writing? When I first learned basic HTML — left & right justification, scrolling marquees, colors, sub- & super-text! — back in the ’00s, when Livejournal was the sweetest thing since sliced bread & there was no other, easier way to implement those tricks, I remember thinking so. I began to literally structure the content of my entries around the way I wanted them to appear on the page. I wanted to play with my new tags. & who’s to say Dickinson wasn’t 150 years ahead of the game?
What do you folks think?
(This paper topic is Copyright LEE 2008, punks!)