Martin Gr¸ner Larsen completed his thesis, “Text, Thought, Time: The Weblog As Essayistic Process”, a literary analysis of blogs, several months ago, and is currently posting a compressed, translated-into-English version on his blog, chapter by chapter in a series he has named “A Blufferís Guide to My MA Thesis“. Lots of interesting ideas and insights in chapter 1 – I’m looking forward to the rest!

Here, for instance, is sort of the outline of much of the point of the thesis:

One night, having browsed an online collection of Montaigneís Essais and a selection of blogs, it dawned on me that these texts actually had a lot in common: the focus on process; the intellectual restlessness; the love of quotation, of other texts, of the randomness of things read coming together and the verbal and intellectual playfulness – these were all superficial qualities shared by blogs and the essay. I found that these superficial qualities actually signalled a deeper relationship of methodology, composition and structure which I wanted to explore and use to develop a theoretical vocabulary to describe blogs as literary entities and then use in practice to analyse and criticise some blogs.

It’s also a lot more fun reading this compressed version than it is to read ordinary an ordinary MA thesis – and my job requires me to read a few. Subsections 1.4 and 1.5 are compressed as “meaningless formal drivel” and hence we are spared them. Landow’s book is approved of despite it’s “rather tacky So 90’s! covers”. And potential naysayers to arguments made are brushed aside as “probably crabby old men who couldnít make a hyperlink if their life depended on it.” I wonder whether Martin met any such in his oral defense?

6 thoughts on “part one of martin gr¸ner larsen’s thesis

  1. 2ndhandsoul

    Interesting — I read a chunk of it, and may read more. I’m curious how far the acceptance of blogging as a “worthy” form of literature will go. I know I read several blogs here and there, write my own blog, and understand some of the general concepts around it. Will thereby become a “publishing house?” Will someone write a “blog novel” or “web novel” or “bovel?” (Okay, I’m lame at making catchy pseudonyms.) This seems tangential to the Facebook story thingy you posted about before. (Feel free to link it, if you wish.) It is interesting that this person talks about such things as YouTube. The interactive and collaborative effect the WWW is having is quite explosive, in potential. YouTube+LastFM+Blog+whatever=new media experience. Soon as more television stations become streaming, one will be able to start plugging in all their sources of media into one place. It will become a live and ever-changing environment, tailored to the individual which may be tailored to subcultures and groups and so forth that form. All this will also become mobile, moreso than it is now. Mobile and omnipresent.

    What a world that will be then,eh? I’m both excited and frightened. The way technology seems to accelerate, I may be able to see a lot of this in my own lifetime.

    Maybe I am crazy.

  2. 2ndhandsoul

    P.S. I also write a post on this in a different vein, which I won’t link, since there’s no need. The “magic” is seeming to fade from the world. Mysteries are evaporating. What will be fun any more? What will be thrilling? We can watch those dangerous things through live feeds streaming to our iPhones, able to live vicariously through the few that actually DO anything out in the world. Okay, I apologize for any bunny-trailing here. Back to our regularly scheduled blog. 🙂

  3. Martin G. L

    2ndhand: first couple of “blovels” – that word has been used, in fact – have already been published. There’s even been tendencies in this direction in Norway, with bits of novels or short prose collections first appearing on some author’s blog, for instance. And there are many works of fiction being published serially in blogs. I’m sure Jill can give you some links. Sweden has also had a couple of these as well. The blogs I discuss are more in the non-fiction vein, though. Most “blovels” are fairly autobiographical, so far.

  4. 2ndhandsoul

    Interesting… I suppose what awaits is how credible they will be accepted in lieu of more “conventional” literature? Besides the fact of PDF’s and so forth, will this begin to spell the end of the paper-made book? It seems inevitable. The technology just has not quite become pervasive enough, perhaps.

  5. Jill Walker Rettberg

    I don’t see why new forms of literature must kill paper literature. After all, neither cinema, television or radio did – no reason to think the internet will.

  6. 2ndhandsoul

    Cue ominous organ music in the background…

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