auch du hast waffen
Web work, part two. I really had planned to get this done before now, but it turns out that hacking Movable Type to be truly bilingual requires both Perl and PHP, both of which I use about once a year and never learned in the classroom or anything, so the occasional situation that actually calls for a few lines of code always requires me to go back and learn the language from scratch. Perl and its uppity punctuation. Anyway.
I've been following the adventures of W.N.P. Barbellion over past months with great pleasure, and with admiration for the brilliant conceit of serializing such a diary. (Samuel Pepys is also out there, if that's what you're into.) I've never been much of a systematic thinker, and my favorite weblogs tend to be the impressionistic ones, those that are neither "this is what I ate for breakfast" nor "this is what I think about grade inflation": I get too much of that elsewhere. There are a few gems out there whose entries are prose poemsthey illuminate a private worldand Barbellion does something similar for me. It is parallel to a diary. At times I've tried for such an effect on this site, but it devolves all too easily into mundanity on the one hand or amateur critical argument on the other.
So I have decided to do something very presumptuous, and have reached into the recent literary past in order to turn one of its pillars into my ideal blogger. He doesn't link to things. He doesn't tell you about his dayor if he does, it's not an account of his day that would be recognizable to anyone else who was around. He's not trying to impress anyone. He has no interest in convincing you through argument. Often his entries completely lose any diaristic quality and become a rehearsal space; we get to see him testing out scenes and sentences, sometimes for possible inclusion in longer work, sometimes for their own sake. Its final sentence, which will not appear online for a long time, is Auch du hast Waffenyou too have weapons. That is the overall dramatic arc: the author's sustained attempt to master a frightening world by rendering it into language. It is white-hot.
Meet Franz Kafka's blog. It will be there when you need it.