Anne, extracting from
An Exploration of a New Form of Reading and Writing

...several Friends...organized themselves into a writing group. One of them did much of her writing on-line; and it was essays of this sort...that she asked her friends to read and respond to. Their various and sometimes puzzled reactions to this kind of internet conversation are offered here....Perhaps they will illuminate some of the ways in which this sort of web work differs (intriguingly? usefully?) from the ways printed things work --particularly in the ways it addresses, and in what it asks from, its readers.

My first reaction is that I don't think I'm smart enough for this. Or maybe theoretical enough? I love truth embodied in story. Sheer ideas and definitions dancing across the page leave me dizzy and self-doubting. I love the shape of it, though. I really enjoy having a community discussing together. It's so good to have...people whose voices I can sort of place, or can't place at all, in what I know of Anne's community. The bringing in of printed voices works for me much of the time, especially since I've actually read a lot of these pieces myself. I like imagining the writers talking to each other, so drama is good. The multiplicity of forms is nice. Images help a lot. I can see that this is very successful as writing for its intended audience, who are clearly excited about it.

A source of dissatisfaction for me in reading other Serendip posts has been my perhaps obsessive desire to follow the hyperlinks, like footnotes in a text. I'd get lost in the referenced material and never find my way back to the post I'd started to read. So, for this exercise I decided to follow none of your links and base my experience on that. (Call it: How I learned to stop worrying and love the Web) I'm realizing that the Web may not be a good place for people who have a hard time letting a phone ring....

From Some Quakers weigh in...:

I am not sure I ever found on the web site what I was supposed to read for October!...Am I reading the wrong thing?

I read... the web page with the inserts from our last month's responses. It feels good to read your responses to Barbara's and David's responses.... I like the idea of not forcing or even seeking the last words. "No last words" is a theme that has been with me for a long time as I have thought about nonviolence and communication. When we try to say the last words, they never are. And the attempt is intended to end dialogue.

I must confess that if I had my druthers I wouldn't mind if you could send out a plain-text version of the writing -- I am just not very good (or patient) with going to the various levels of web links. I realize that that might not be possible because the web is a medium in itself. I am not quite patient with the idea of reading the dialogues on-line either. Some ring of my limited experience with list-serve dialogues. I don't want to have to sort through a lot of dialogue...

Anne (dear Anne!)

first - I felt very embraced and lifted by your preamble to your comments on our September writings. The sentences "I find that what really interests me with your texts is what ground they lay for me to go forward....of what USE is this? how does it lead us ON?" led me into another way of looking at our writings. Thank you. and thanks for your comments about my work. Mike has been suggesting to me that the body piece be expanded and submitted as a possible pendle hill pamphlet - and I will rest with your call into the 'poetic' dimensions - were writing about me, Anne! not in the specifics, so much, but in capturing my struggle, especially felt during college days, in the following sentence: "Insistance on a Single Right Account Reduces the Natural Desire of a Curious Child to Explore" (or 'to speak' or 'to offer up an idea') Thank you for naming that so clearly....

I found myself thinking of the testimony of integrity with regard to our speech - in hallways, etc., - taking care, but not obsessively, with what and how we say things - being mindful of the enormous halls (like the mines of Moria in the Lord of the Rings) that yawn invitingly behind every word or phrase we use... the appreciation of us taking on that responsibility...

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