Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good from Bad

I wonder what distinguishes good writing from bad? What is it that makes us want to read on? To some extent it must be subjective, different words and styles appeal to different people. The good and bad of it is the wrong terminology of course. It's not necessarily good and bad, it's different, at different levels but I can keep qualifying for ever.

When I read blog sites, why do some appeal to me and others not? Why am I so taken by the self conscious confessional tone of some like Artandmylife, who forever admits to feeling poorly educated, a non expert, and yet offers her thoughts and opinions regardless. For me she becomes a sort of every woman, the mother at home with her little ones imparting knowledge to them that is greater far than anything they can read in text books and yet, her knowledge is somehow diminished because it has not been formalised through the official authorised discourse. Maybe this is why I enjoy her work so much, the same with Stripeysocksstudio and Martin Edmond on Luca Antara– was there ever a more self-effacing, yet brilliant writer, who also seems more self taught than spoon fed by the institutions. Maybe for me, too, because I have gone back to the university after thirty years and because I do not have a vested interest in fitting in with the academic ethos – I’m not looking for a job there – I can write more freely even as I know it will not satisfy certain of the establishment.


I resent the insistence that everything said be backed up by a footnote - Who gave you this idea? Who has said this before you? How can you claim to know this? How dare you presume to say anything unless someone else presumably more learned than you has said it before? To me that’s different from the need to acknowledge other people’s ideas. I have no problem acknowledging other people’s ideas, but sometimes I cannot remember and sometimes my own ideas have become such an amalgamation of all the ideas that I have read and heard from many other people I cannot think to anchor the idea as someone specific’s property.
Post a Comment