Blogs breathing new life into old texts
25, November, 2006 2 Comments
Just about a week ago, I came across a short article in the local papers about how blogger Phil Gyford started a blog with daily entries taken from 17th C diarist, Samuel Pepys: Diary of Samuel Pepys .
The site presents the diaries of Samuel Pepys, who lived in London, England in the 17th Century. Gyford has been publishing a new entry written by Pepys each day over the course of several years, starting with the first entry for 1 January 1660 which was published on 1 January 2003. So if you look at the blog now, you should be well into Pepys’ diary.
I found this interesting as it seems that an old text has been given new life via the new media of the weblog. In a way, the weblog does suit the purpose of a diarist pretty well, with each daily blog entry corresponding to his daily reflections and musings. In addition, the blog also demonstrates how the traditional text has been reformatted to fit in with the web style. The reader can also now interact with the text! Read it and see what I mean!
Before the rise of the novel in the 18th Century, many writers serialised their works in episodic accounts in publications. Daily blog entries do seem to parallel that kind of episodic publishing as well. There’s a pretty retro feel to it as we seem to have come full circle. Of course, there’s a modern high-tech twist to it.
Now, what other texts can be serialised this way, and be given a new lease of life? They need not be from centuries back. More modern texts can be updated too. I won’t be surprised if we start reading the daily whinings of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones or the comical insights of Sue Townsend’s oblivious protagonist Adrian Mole in blogs soon. After all, Adrian Mole already has his own website. And that’s just about a step away from having his own blog.