April 17, 2011

Getting It All Down

   I've happily had my nose buried in the book The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I almost got rid of this book unread 3 times. It was in a box in the back of my car ready to donate. The other day I had about 25 minutes of sitting in the car so grabbed the book out of the box and sat to read. Wow, I was immediately drawn in and lost in the pages. I love how the characters are scholarly and spend lots of time in libraries and traveling around Europe. The book concerns Dracula's involvement in their lives in an deeply historic but realistic way.
   At my local library there was a class offered about writing your biography in an hour. Well, with facebook, twitter, blogs, videos, digital cameras, and every call and transaction tracked, the trail this generation will leave will be huge. The scholars of the future will be glutted with vast amounts of info, virtual and else wise for everyone. No more tracking down a musty volume in a quiet library for bits and pieces of information, searching for clues to unravel the mysteries of the individual. No small glimpses of a face in an old photograph, eyes peering out of a dim past. It will all be kaboom in loud color and reams and reams of words and images. Our leavings for posterity will be unlike any other in history. The ability to live lightly and remain ephemeral are very slim. Hardcopy, harddrive, hardware.
   I wish I had taken that class. Thinking about it now, it seems almost impossible to write of your life in an hour. I imagine the emotions or snapshots of childhood memory, little bundles of events that stand out, stitched quickly into a narrative that may reveal much.

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