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Bill Altreuter

What of "Julie Julia"?

Of course, "Anonymous Lawyer" is fiction, so that's a distinction, but really are we talking about anything that is so different from a diary-- or a novel in the form of a diary?

There are things that are distinctive about the blog format, but the two principle ones that I can think of are hyperlinks and interactivity. Neither lends itself to the printed page, and I wonder if that means that blogging is really a dead letter when it comes to commercial writing.


Thanks for the post, Sherry. I didn't intend to comment, but Bill's question gets at something I've been thinking about for a longer piece I might pitch to some book blogs. I initially thought the same thing, that this was just a diary.

But what a weblog introduces that a diary doesn't have to contend with is the idea of private thought versus public thought. Diaries are private. A weblog isn’t quite private, because it’s being shared with the world -- but it isn’t quite public either, especially when it’s anonymous.

The persona that Anonymous Lawyer presents to his weblog readers is different from how he presents himself to the people he encounters in real life, but it’s also different from the private thoughts he has in his head.

A diary is a reliable narrator, a reliable indication of the voice inside the character’s head, but a blog isn't necessarily. The blog allows the character to present one image of himself, even if that’s not exactly true. And so part of the fun of the book is figuring out what the truth is, and how reliable the blog narrator turns out to be.



I can't wait to read it!




On the other hand, I'm not convinced that diaries are so reliable. True they a are an indication of a voice inside the character’s head, but that voice isn't always the whole picture either. Whether a diary or a blog, there is always that interesting tension between what is written, what is thought, and what the situational facts are.

What is most interesting to me right now is how intriguing this all is -- the interplay of stories and facts and reality, and how far we'll go to believe one perspective as the truth, or how much work it would take to piece everything together. I think many blog readers are okay taking the story at face value, and enjoying it. And other times, there's a huge desire - need, even? - to uncover the "real" person behind the story.

I also can't avoid connections to the greater social & political culture and how this sort of multi-faceted public/private storytelling is both played out and interpreted.

Good stuff.

You misspelled hierarchy.


Evan Schaefer is not correct in saying AL is the first novel to use a blog as a narrative vehicle. Ana Marie Cox, formerly of Wonkette, published a novel in January called Dog Days which did just such a thing.
See: ://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/08/books/review/08buckley.html?ex=1154404800&en=a906fa364bb2dabd&ei=5070


I visited a very interesting site, they have a vast collection of books which have been categories and are presented to viewers in an easy-to-search format. You should check it out.


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