A couple of years ago, some very wise boffin at a talk at Oxford expressed the opinion that the internet was not quite the sooper-dooper resource we had been sold. That whilst it did offer an infinitude of information at the click of one’s mousie, what it did not offer was understanding or any ability to weigh the importance of a fact or see and understand the significance thereof.
Which sounded very intellectual and savvy to me but I had other things to think about so I didn’t do a wulie wulie dance or anything.
But, you know what, that ancient boffin was spot on.
Because every day one encounters, if one is cruising about the internet, a bazillion blogs and articles which basically repeat what some other individual has talked about either six weeks ago or six months ago. It’s endless. And what does it contribute to the understanding of the past or past lives? Nothing! It’s just blah blah.
For many historical novelists it appears to be a form of publicity. (I don’t know that it works in one’s favour…to me it’s just internet glut and more and more I see it as proof of not an original thought in said novelist’s head…)
Or maybe, in terms of some of it, it’s the historical version of celebritocricy–an effort to shew me the Kardashians of 1800–let me tell you, they were about as interesting as buckets of dried wallpaper paste, the same as today, and the study of their empty little brains will not even add an ice cream cone to your day. (I like ice cream==not as much as cakey obviously, but…) And as for enhancing your understanding of the past…(I may need some ice cream here to recover the will to think…)
So today’s brief ranty-pants is to encourage the ladies and gentlemen of a writerly perhaps quasi-historical leaning to reconsider before they repeat what’s already been blogged about ad nauseum and where half the time, one can trace the line of the information from first appearance to its endless rehashing.
To remind everyone of a dictum that came about in the wake of the crammingness of stuff in Victorian houses so that there was so much STUFF in there you couldn’t see the taxidermy squirrels for the squiggley flocked wallpaper, less is more.
Okay, that’s enough grumping for today…well, not really. I mean the weather’s foul but the roses, somehow amazingly, are still blooming their heads off, so I shall stop complaining and think how grand they are…pink and red and yellow and blowsy!