Sunday, April 29, 2007

All Blogged Up!

Well, this is pretty comical, and the joke's on me. Having written two posts on how blogs run in reverse chronological order, I find that the two posts have been published out of order, with the one I wrote earlier today, Blog Up!, being placed underneath, and therefore before the one I wrote yesterday, Through the Blogging Glass. In other words, they appear in what would in any other context be considered correct chronological order or sequence.

How did this happen? Well, I started to write Blog Up! yesterday, and as I was working on it, I realized that I was getting into a separate topic, one that should come first, so I clicked "SAVE AS DRAFT" and then created a new post, Through the Blogging Glass. Today, when I went to "EDIT POSTS" to retrieve Blog Up! to continue working on it, I noticed that it was listed underneath Through the Blogging Glass, as if it had been posted earlier, not just saved as a draft earlier. But I didn't give it a second thought until I was finished, and posted Blog Up! and went to "VIEW BLOG" and saw that it had been inserted as if it had been posted before Through the Blogging Glass.

So, first and foremost, this post serves as an errata of sorts, noting that the order has been reversed due to this peculiarity of blogger.

Second, it serves as a reminder that editing is, after all, a way of reordering sequence, and reality, straightening out story lines, and otherwise improving the end product. In a sense, editing is a way of concentrating time, as much more time goes into writing, rewriting, and editing, in order to get things just right, than it would to just write a first draft, whereas the reader reading the words takes the same amount of time either way.

Editing also allows narratives to be made linear. Before writing, oral traditions were characterized by episodic narratives, the formulaic episodes and themes being open to many different arrangements and sequences. After writing, it becomes possible to construct a narrative that runs perfectly from beginning to middle to climax/anticlimax/end, the Aristotelian narrative and Freytag pyramid. After printing, which brings with it a high degree of literacy, it becomes possible to write a narrative in which a second narrative or sequence of events is being reconstructed--what I am referring to is the 19th century invention of the detective or mystery story, which Edgar Allen Poe pioneered.

So when we edit, we alter time--I know I did--which means that time is no longer like the Rocky Mountains, as a writer such as Kurt Vonnegut could tell you, or as I did in a previous post.

So where does this leave me? All blogged up and nowhere to go?

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