21 February 2006

Stylistic analysis and the use of briquettes

The Little One is a great fan of Roddy Doyle's children's books (better than JK Rowling), and we had had a serious conversation last night, during a long evening walk. Little One offered some stylistic analysis of his own on the work:

"He's getting better with every book, and I'm going to write books like his, probably when I'm 11, so I have time to have a brainstorm. And I'll use lots of brickets."

"Brickets?" I enquired.

"Yes, brickets, you know, to tell people something is happening. Like: he opened the door (slowly). Brickets."

"Hmmm. Those are usually called brackets."

"OK; and three dots, too. He uses three dots when someone interrupts him when he' s writing."

(Hmmm. Three dots should be well used when I write then, I thought, in a cunning use of brickets).

So Little One wrote a letter to The Author, expressing his admiration for "the bit when the snails want to take over the world", and refrained from taking him to task over writing all those books for grownups when his real audience were waiting and having to read The Meanwhile Adventures for the 10th time.

I think the Author liked it.

20 February 2006

Existential readings?

This I read in the Sunday Times (I know, but it came with a free Donnie Darko DVD...):

From "Mrs Mills solves all your problems":

Existential dilemma

I'm 15 years old and considering buying a black beret. Do you think it would be a good purchase, or would I just look silly?

Answer: Are you trying to sell onions from a bike? No? Forget it, then.

I beg to differ. May I respectfully point out that a black beret is only mandatory for selling garlic from a bike. When it comes to onions, I would recommend a straw hat (wide-brimmed).

05 February 2006

The possibility of a reader

My other blog, on the other side, has been having major problems; they are not due to me, I hasten to add, but to a change in hosting services. I am not blameless, though; I have been neglecting both blogs, and the reason why will require me to wade a little deeper in the strange and murky waters of internet, psychology, truth and reality. Even though this blog is so far a readerless one, I am strangely reluctant to link it to my real life. As soon as I write this sentence, I see one problem with it: I don’t know if it is readerless; I know it is comment-free. In fact, I know 4 people might be reading it, because they are linked to my real life, and I gave them the address. There is, however, the possibility of a reader (to paraphrase the title of a book I haven’t read…) There is indeed the necessity of a reader, if this is to become the ethnographic experience my research requires. The adolescents’ or young adults’ blogs I read have a ready-made audience of the real-life of internet friends, which grows exponentially through linking and “friending”. Very rarely is there a reflexion on the reader, his/her presence and responsibility, except obliquely, when a blog becomes locked – this is usually due to real-life acquaintances becoming readers. I also read blogs from older authors, and those seem to reflect more on the notions of audience, responsibility and “contract”, as in Lejeune’s “pacte autobiographique”. Indeed Lejeune is quoted in a discussion in Christie’s blog. Interesting, and it allowed me to avoid another personal post…