Thursday, October 16, 2014


On-going news out of Africa and Dallas has me really down. Usually, I'm pretty good at ignoring the media, but there's something about this news that bothers me more than normal. It may be that I spend my entire day dealing with the children's bodily fluids; and all the stuff they put in their mouths; and one of the kids can't even communicate what's wrong; and last year my uncle had such a disheartening experience with the supposedly competent big name hospital here in our area ... and WHY am I even typing this? It's probably bad karma. I don't know. Also, I think it might be a taboo to fret about stuff like this on a mommyblog.

The good news is that all the major online newspapers have now locked me out of reading their articles for the rest of the month (unless I get a subscription) so I'm being forced to think about something else. Kind of. (Damnyouyahoonews.)


Do you know much about literary salons? Wikipedia says that literary salons have been around since the 17th century, but the ones I'm thinking of were mostly in the late 1800s and early 1900s in Paris.  Names like Gertrude Stein and James Joyce immediately come to mind for me. If you believe the various accounts, influential writers and their admirers would gather at the host's home for drinks and a dinner while exchanging witty remarks about the latest publications, politics, and gossip. Some people credit salons with historically giving women a voice.

I've always wondered if the salon might be an analogy to the blog. As far as I know, there aren't a lot of salons anymore. Book clubs, yes, but I'm not sure book clubs have the sort of public profile that a salon had. Hmm. I think about this, because I think a lot lately about the end of blogs. Is it coming? So many blogs I've read over the years have ended, and I simply haven't found anything to take their place. I wonder if blogs will just kind of fade off into history like salons did. Are blogs important? If so how and why? Will they ever be recognized as an independent discipline, or will they always be an extension Writing and the Writer?

I am truly sad if blogs are ending, because I love reading blogs, and I love catching glimpses into the way that other people think and see the world. I love the way blogs balance between narrative and explanation and information. I used to love reading through comments, when there was more commenting going on. And I've always loved the way that a conversation sort of starts in blog world and very slowly, many people pick up the topic, write their own post and very slowly add to the conversation. That's the best. I feel like reading other people's blogs is such great way to challenge, expand, and reconsider your own beliefs.

How did I get to this? Oh yeah, salons. Well, I'm not really sure salons were anything like blogs, after all.

But, if you have any thoughts about blogs and salons, I'd love to hear!


Anonymous said...

I always get this tickeling feeling when I imagine salons- especially when mentioned together with big names liek Gertude Stein. Huh.
But I also have a feeling that I would not have been part of such circles. Not that I wouldn't find the topics interesting, no. Time, lack of childcare, different life style - I could not imagine myself sitting around all dressed up, smoking, discussing....but wait, there was a time when I did things similar: it was BC (before children)!
So the nice thing about blogs is you can read and comment them whenever. Nobody sees that I haven't showered yet! I can't imagine the end of blogs, it is too convenient and seems suitable to our social lifestyle nowadays (without judging the downsides here).
For example, I could not imagine myself sitting in a circle of friends and talking about menstruation cups. But I could write something about it in my blog, if I had one. Cool topic, by the way (you can delete that last paragraph if you'd like to).

Ann Wyse said...

Yeah, we're definitely not Gertrude Stein and James Joyce around here. ;-)

But I do think there are some pretty amazing bloggers out there. And maybe not necessarily because of their page hits and advertising contracts, but genuinely because of what they're saying and the conversation they're generating.

Pregnantly Plump said...

I think salons are interesting. I read a book about Zelda Fitzgerald this summer and part of it discussed salons. I don't know about blogs going away, though. Several of the ones I started reading have ended. I suspect some have moved to facebook.