The traditional solitude of writers is so different from the companionship of blogs. Marguerite Duras wrote alone:

The solitude of writing is a solitude without which writing could not be produced, or would crumble, drained bloodless by the search for something else to write.

She writes of her room, a room of her own, though it could be many rooms, requiring

..certain habits that I always maintain, wherever I go, wherever I am, even in places where I don’t write, such as hotel rooms–like the habit of keeping whiskey in my luggage in case of insomnia or sudden despair. During that time I had lovers. I was rarely without at least one lover. They got used to the solitude in Neauphle. And its charm sometimes allowed them to write books in turn. I rarely gave those lovers my books to read. Women should not let lovers read the books they write. When I had finished a chapter, I hid it from them. This thing is so true, for me, that I wonder how one can manage elsewhere or otherwise when one is a woman and one has a husband or lover. One must also, in such cases, hide the love of one’s husband from lovers. Mine has never been replaced. I know that every day of my life. (Writing, page 2-4)

It’s a very different idea of what writing might be to the way we write in blogs, isn’t it? I remember William Gibson saying that he would have to stop blogging when he started writing his novel: “It would be like trying to boil water without a lid,” he wrote, in his blog. On September 12 he stopped blogging, for now, anyway, in order to write.

There are different strands of writing, that’s clear. I didn’t blog my PhD thesis directly, instead I blogged around it, between it, quite often ahead of it, blogging what it might become. In research, blogging has been my site of research as much as my reporting of it.

I wonder whether Duras’s lovers read her novels after they were published?

06. November 2003 by Jill

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