Thursday, 26 April 2012
I have a minor addiction to reading online American media, if only because it casts life elsewhere into a different context (they say that planet earth is famously beautiful from space). Frankly, this peccadillo would rarely intersect with the agenda of this blog, but I was struck by this article in the New York Times this week. Not so much the article itself - a defence of the creative niche, which could easily be accused of being distilled to the point of triteness - but rather for some of the comments upon it. You don't have to scan very far down to realise that for man, establishing a creative niche is somehow akin to cheating; to invent an umbrella is to cheat your responsibility to get wet like your neighbours. Well, if I follow this idea through, the definition of a fair society would be one where everyone dashes themselves against the rocks equally, and then derives an English sense of inner peace from their neighbour being exactly as unhappy as they are.
Thursday, 12 April 2012
Now I shouldn't say this, as the only format for which my stories are currently on sale is the iPhone, but I'm not yet convinced that this is the future of reading - or if it is, I'm not necessarily convinced it's as happy a future as the ones we've reached already. I am a supporter of new technology though, so in a spirit of optimism I've thought hard, and I've decided there are at least three scenarios in which you would be very grateful for reading on a smart phone. To enumerate:
Friday, 6 April 2012
Clearly novels have gone through fat and thin phases over time. I'm told that in post-war period, the shortness of many novels had a lot to do with the increasing cost of paper (or tired writers; from 1920 right up to the advent of metrification, we had to measure out our lives in coffee spoons.) Generally though, writing doesn't seem much dependent on the medium. As far as I can tell from exhaustive searches at the great libraries of the world, paper had long existed before the word 'platform' existed to describe what words take shape on. I've come to think that aesthetics matter not a jot beyond the first few pages and the only real constraint is practicality. So yes, a novel can be written on a roll of wrapping paper, index cards, a laptop, a smartphone, a typewriter, a dictaphone, post it notes, the walls of your padded cell, ansaphone machines, till receipts, bank statements, a source code editor, your blog, backs of envelopes, napkins, the palms of your hands, tapestries , and via word processors, text messages, emails, scrabble letters, pictures, your own blood, someone else's blood, or sweat and tears (not so effective), tattoos, Facebook updates, pen, pencil, crayon, knitting needles, piped icing sugar, graffiti, or your grave. John Keats even writ his name on water, though that may not work for us.
Posted by Jamie at 11:37