Blame it on blogging

Leon Wieseltier of the New Republic attributes the problems now faced by his colleague Gregg Easterbrook (discussed by Trunk below) on blogging. According to Wieseltier, “There is no such thing as instant thought, which is why reflection and editing are part of serious writing and thinking, as Gregg has now discovered.” Andrew Sullivan responds that blogging is “a different way of writing, one that acknowledges that it is imperfect and provisional and subject to revision. In that sense, it makes far fewer claims than, say, a lengthy essay published in the literary press. But, by acknowledging its limitations, it is also, I’d argue, sometimes more honest than other forms of writing, in which the writer pretends to finality, to studied perfection, to considered and re-considered nuance or argument, when he is often winging it nonetheless. Someone can say nothing in 10,000 words; and someone can also say something in ten. It simply depends on the quality of the writing. The truth is: every written word is provisional. The question is one of degree. But there is nothing less “serious” about a blogged idea just because it is blogged and not produced after fifteen edits by Cambridge University Press. As the philosopher once said, everything is true as long as it is never taken to be more than it is. Blogging is now a part of literature. And it deserves to be understood rather than simply dismissed.”

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