Thursday, April 13, 2006

WWTD: What Would Thoreau Do?

The Web Watch column in The Guardian Unlimited, a web-based newspaper, reviews online blogs "written" by famous dead writers, or rather fronted by a blogger who has found an unending source of copy-right free content. (Wouldn't that be nice and easy?) Guardian columnist Sean Dodson wrote:
"Web watch has long been an admirer of Phil Gyford's blog of the diary of Samuel Pepys. Since it launched in January 2003, the award-winning site has inspired dozens of bookish bloggers to publish more online diaries with classic literary themes. Recently we also mentioned Dracula's blog, Bram Stoker's novel being similarly re-published, but diaries of famous writers including Franz Kafka and Henry David Thoreau have been spotted and you can even read James Joyce's Ulysses, at the gentle pace of one page a day."
What these blogs do is to post (publish) a snippet of a writer's work each day, possibly from the same date in the life of the author. This way the blog reader can take in the works of authors a little bit at a time. Thoreau's Diary is quite beautiful; give it a try.
Why are people making these blogs? We all try to control the glut of information that threatens to inundate us daily. Best lists and book snippets parceled out daily are one way to feel in control of the vast literary universe. Librarians live to transform untamed bins of books, piles of periodicals and muddled masses of miscellaneous materials into orderly rows and shelves and files. (Some of us like alliteration as an organinzing tool too.) We haven't completely read every single item of course, but we sure like to know where they are and that someone, somewhere gave it a good review and we can find it if needed. A big job, but someone's got to do it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for noting the Dracula blog, Anne.

We actually publish the entire novel, from May through November, since the whole thing consists of small pieces chronologically organized.

Anne said...

I forgot that the novel is a series of dated entries. Cool idea for a blog. I'm a big Dracula fan.