part one of martin gr¸ner larsen’s thesis
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?