Sunday, January 23, 2005

Would Hardy have blogged?

I read recently in the TLS that "Thomas Hardy acquired the notebook habit in his twenties, and kept it going all his long life. As well as noting down memories and events, he read widely and took copious notes on his reading, Victorian industriousness further sharpened by the hunger of autodidacticism, building storehouses of nourishment for his novels and poetry. These he referred to as his "notebooks", "pocket-books", "memoranda" and "diaries". Nobody knows how many had accumulated by the time he died aged eighty-seven, as his instructions to burn them were obeyed. Twelve of them survived the executor's flames, however, and their titles give some idea of their range: the "Architectural Notebook", the "Trumpet-Major Notebook", the "Schools of Painting" notebook, the "Studies, Specimens, etc" notebook, the "1867" notebook, and the volumes of "Literary Notes" and "Memoranda".
I wonder if such a copious note-taker would have been a blogger. Probably not. The notes were for his own use, the public didn't get to see them until they had been reworked, interwoven, sublimated into novels.


Nathan Lowell said...

Great notion.

The public voice vs the diary. I need to ponder this one.

Nancy McKeand said...

I don't know about Hardy, but I am going to be interested to see how blogging affects my journaling. I usually write for about an hour each morning. Since I have been blogging this week, it almost seems like I am less interested in my morning writing, but there have been a lot of other things going on, too, so I can't be sure my blog is responsible. I am going to watch this and see if I can see a trend. Thanks for raising the question and getting me to think about it.

Bee said...

If Anais Nin had had this possibility, I think she would be definitely blogging :-)