Diaries and blogs 2

It might be a few months old, but I just came across this interesting Youtube vid by Michael Palin about keeping a diary again. Having kept a blog for thirteen years, I can certainly understand the urge to record: something just compels one to write, every day or so, as if it makes time more concrete. What pricked my attention, though, were Palin’s comments on going back an editing an entry after you write it. An entry, he suggests, can only record one’s thoughts and feelings on a certain day; to go back and change it after it is written is somehow dishonest. I know what he means, and used to impose such a rule on myself, but the urge to edit or add to an entry after I’d posted it got to much, especially if it was about something I cared about. I suppose that just highlights the difference between blogs and diaries: whereas a diary is a very personal, static record of one’s thoughts in time, a blog is public, meant to be read by others, so if something changes, or you think of something you want to add, you can. Maybe the shift from one to the other shows how public our lives have now all become. I know I’ve written about this before, but it occurs to me that this is a symptom of our changed relationship with time: in this postmodern era, the past is no longer fixed; we can rewrite it, altering history. Perhaps some would call that dishonest, but it just shows just how intangible ideas like ‘the past’, ‘truth’ and ‘reality’ really are.

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