Have Blogs Corrupted Writing?

Jun 22 2012 @ 2:40pm

The n+1 editors inveigh against the "blogorrheic style" of Internet writing today:

Blog-depressionOutside of Twitter, a coercive blogginess, a paradoxically de rigueur relaxation, menaces a whole generation’s prose (no, yeah, ours too). You won’t sound contemporary and for real unless it sounds like you’re writing off the top of your head. Thus: "In The Jargon of Authenticity, Adorno went bonkers with rage, and took off after Heidegger and the existentialists with a buzz saw, loudly condemning the sloppy word that these dumb existentialists sloppily use to brag about how they know what is real and what isn’t." This appeared on a blog (The Awl), so its blogginess shouldn’t be held too much against it. But all contemporary publications tend toward the condition of blogs, and soon, if not yet already, it will seem pretentious, elitist, and old-fashioned to write anything, anywhere, with patience and care.

In one sense, I get this. As so much of our comunication is now online, the style we most use – and, they're right, there is a conversational style to blogging – will arguably affect the way we write in other contexts. Blogging, as I've written before, is about as close as writing can get to speaking.

On the other hand: chill. Why does everything have to be zero-sum? The whole fricking point of the web is that there is endless space for every form of writing imaginable. No website prevents someone writing a great novel or a long-form reported essay or a lengthy piece of literary criticism. And as long as there are writers with ambitions, these and other forms will endure and proliferate, with ebbs and flows as always. There's just a new screaming baby in the room. And it will mature in time.

(Image via Rebeca Aldama Garcia)