Monday, April 27, 2009
I've always been wary of "second blogs." I'm more especially wary of third and fourth blogs, but they don't have the same ominous slippery-slope feeling of the second. I feel like the division of people's online personalities into several different blogs does not translate very well to real life. You don't have a political self, a casual social self, a religious self, and a funny-comics-that-I-happen-to-like self that you direct your friends to in real life. They're all the same self.
I think this is why people don't have more than one facebook page. (Well, most people don't.) So, I hope that my desire to start a second blog doesn't irreversibly fracture some vital part of my Actual Personality. I feel like there are now Two Of Me online, involved in some kind of less antagonistic Gollum/Smeagol relationship. I don't know why I don't just merge all of this hypothetical content I suddenly aspire to write with the content of this blog. Either way, for now I have two blogs, and the Gollum to my * is Short Stories That Don't Suck.
Short Stories That Don't Suck is inspired by my curiosity with the short story genre as a writer. I love to write short stories, and from what I can tell, a lot of writers do. But according to a lot of people, the genre's passed the point of no return, received orange pips in the mail, forgot to wipe the blood of a lamb on their doorpost, etc. But I hypothesize that during such a period of history when all we want are shorter and quicker things (see: text messaging, Twitter, commercials), short stories should not be sucking. If anything, there should already be some kind of iTunes-like service where you can purchase a single short story for 99 cents instead of having to buy the entire collection from a bookstore.
Stephen King suggested that short stories are becoming a little too elitist and literary. He might have a point, though I love my literary fiction. I want to find the stories that are good whether you're an English major or not, the kind of story you'd recommend to both Uncle Archibald and Uncle Bill. What I've opted to do with SSTDS is post, three times a week, a different short story you can read for free online. (Not the same story three times.) They'll be, in my estimation, short stories worth reading and worth remembering. I hope the blog turns out to simultaneously be some form of defense for the genre as well as a successful exercise in articulating my aesthetics.
Meanwhile, * will probably remain a forum for me posting short, random crap with intermittent and inconsistent intervals. Meanwhile, go read a good short story every now and then. Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) a list of what you think some of the best short stories you've ever read are; that'd be enormously helpful.