Saturday, April 7, 2007

the diary vs the blog

I’m with Anna Wintour (as commented upon by Jen Bekman at Personism): I was never wild about the word ‘blog.’ Carolyn Zick and I talked about the word quite a bit when she came on the air. I held on to the word (and the practice of) ‘diary’ for many reasons, but just the sound of the word was one of them.

Another major reason: it’s something I did longer than most, now in my 134th notebook and 38th year, and so I felt a certain ownership. Ownership feels good. When I saw all these various online journals and then blogs exploding, I cheered on in one way (for I certainly read a lot of them) while I was strangely alienated in another. I guess this is because I loved to write in a way that I do not see often out there. But does that matter? Probably not.

Over the years, pals began journals after finding out about mine. Then they reveled in the practice – but few kept at it. It has its own rigor. Even the attitude towards my own online journaling changed over time as more people embraced it by following suite. One person told me they did not like reading my writings in Lovelake - it felt invasive I guess (though they never said why). But guess what? They keep a blog now!

Some people really detest blogs, refuse to read them (no matter who is writing them) and feel the blog gives credence to those whose opinions are not very carefully considered. Actually, I’m OK with all of that, because I saw the reverse for so long: same opinion at you, all the time, same lone critic/ reporter and paper or magazine, forming the taste of a town and their opinions are not always without bias (or with education) anyway.

The digital age is transforming everything. Just to hear Phil Bard talk about what an exciting time we were in for photography, all due to the digital format, made me rethink the art of the journal. Photography may have been ever-changing since its conception, but the diary has been pretty much the same for hundreds of years - until now. And all along, I read historical journals. No wonder I get so unnerved sometimes – by what is written by others online and also by what I try to share. After all, I still have the beloved personal, private practice in paper, where I can tell it all.

They said that the Internet would make the world smaller, but I found that it also made your own backyard so much more accessible and somehow more important. Entire events are driven by an email or a blog. But I could only keep up on what everyone was saying for so long! Stepping back will also be stepping forward, as I arrange a way, via the radio, to talk to those not in my backyard.


Anonymous said...

i've been reading you for awhile now (goin' on 2 years?) and keep coming back for many seem to orchestrate this delicate balance between self and surroundings. you don't mince words, but you don't slander either. you educate and inspire, as well as promote your own ventures. and you write exactly how you are in person, so...what you see is what you get.

here's a thought, though...would you EVER consider releasing your hardcopy diaries (edited or not) into the mainstream?

-baby smith

Anonymous said...

I think about what is going to happen to those notebooks and have yet to come to a final resolution.

Part of me thinks put in an archive - there are a few archives in this country which contain diaries from different eras in history.

Part of me thinks here is a project for my old age - edit the thing and attempt to publish .

But another part says burn it.

Anonymous said...

oh, goddess....puh-lease, dear eva, don't BURN 'em!!!!! i beg of you!!!!!!

you see, the reason i asked was...

what you've imparted via your diary and now your 'blog' is SOOOO important. it's sending a clear message. a beacon for all artists, emerging and established, male AND female....that they have a voice, they have a place in life, no matter what the global art market is paying or saying at any given moment. and i guess i just envision these 'archival' diaries as yet another 'bible' from which artists could learn from and be inspired by. it doesn't mean you have to name names or burn bridges...but, the raw emotions of where you were and how you felt will draw readers in. you didn't write these things down to have them're making history, and you KNOW it!!!

and you're NEVER gonna retire, ain't that great?!!

but, you can always come down to sunny so-cal and grab a vacay....whenever you want, girl! i'll even learn how to play shuffleboard with ya!


Anonymous said...

You really want to know why I might burn them? This is hard to divulge....

I paid all kinds of dues (who doesn't?) to live the life and then, to write it down. I am not sure I want this to be profitable for someone else - just from the monetary side.

I am also torn about all that editing and taking away of names. To edit the names out tells a different story (not mine, basically). I've already done plenty of that in these online journals and that's OK, but I would like to keep the paper real. I can understand why Jane Austen destroyed all of her diaries, which must have been rich.

Bianca tried to stop the publication of Andy's diaries which had her words in them. She didn't win though.... hmmm....


Anonymous said...

sooooo, my mind is filling up with aaaall SORTS of matter...but, i'm just wondering about your hardcopy journals and what they truly mean to you. your stories are particularly sexy because they document a life and time that only a select few have archived. (and you, and you alone, should be the only one to profit!) but, diaries are many things to many people. they're self therapy, they're physical evidence of your time on this earth, etc.

i wrote paper diaries for many years, and i guess i just thought they would be a source of entertainment or fill in the blanks in MY old age. but, another part of me wanted to leave 'something' behind for others to read for whatever understand me or make sense of their own place in the world, etc. etc.

i loved warhol's diaries, btw. the fact that he phoned up his assistant each morning to 'dictate' the previous day is testament to his endless dedication and almost fanatical obsession with documenting every last detail....right down to how much he paid for magazines and cab fare!!!

and this could very well be taken off 'the air' and dealt with in one of your future posts. i'm just curious georgette..