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!