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Finitude Made Evident

sgb90's picture

Reading the personal blogs of Anne and Hannah, I was struck by how my experience as a reader differed greatly between the two (though both were, purportedly, of the same genre). Both were identifiable to me as blogs by the simple formal aspects that they contained entries in reverse chronological order, incorporated photos and links, and allowed for the possibility of interaction with the readers. However, the style, content, and tone of the two blogs evoked vastly different reactions and thoughts for me.

For me, Hannah's blog read, in certain ways, much like traditional travel journals would, in the respect that it documented her various experiences and trips and provided anecdotes, intermixed with bits of cultural history. I think the important differences between her blog and a traditional travel journal were that her blog incorporated photos of her trip within the text and offered the interactive possibility that traditional mediums don't. I found her blog quite accessible, partly because it was written informally. At certain points I wondered, did Hannah deliberately censor more personal experiences due to the public nature of the blog? If this is the case, did she also have a persona in mind that she wanted to present to her family and friends in her blog and and as such was she "creating" a self by her choices of what to share and what not to share?

My experience in reading Anne's blog was different in that I felt the blog was filled with a mass of information: personal, literary, and philosophical, all reaching in so many diverse directions that I could not get a handle on all of it. In this sense, the blog succeeds by being a highly interconnected web, defying simple summary or categorization. I noticed at some point (...maybe around all the references to "meager slices of reality" and The Fabric of the Cosmos) that I was experiencing a mixed feeling of intellectual exhilaration and extreme anxiety. Here were all these links leading into alternate universes of information and I couldn't possibly hold all of those universes in my mind at once (or ever). In short, I felt terribly finite, limited, amidst a wealth of perspectives and subjects. I suppose that is part of what our increasingly porous mediums are allowing us to become conscious of: we were always limited in what we knew or could perceive, but now we have the technology to make that limitation more evident.


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