ain't nothin' but a stranger in this world

... or a stranger in cyberspace, perhaps. Can't think of a thing to say. It's because I've been on other jags. Like downloading as much of the Joe Strummer song catalogue as I can find on LimeWire (quite a lot). Or tracking the emerging field of Medical Humanities aka Artistic Medicine. Or imagining in forensic detail the progress of rust on my sadly disintegrating car. Or ...

When I was in NZ last month, I was reminded of the Landfall Essay Competition by an editor of the University press that publishes the magazine. Why I thought of a piece On Trains I cannot now remember. But I wrote it. Then, just as it was being finished I got an email from another University press about The Gift Book, a publication to celebrate the inaugural Book Month over there. It was the five grand per selection that caught my eye, so off I sent the just completed essay.

Then, in my delusive state I thought, what will I submit to Landfall if and when The Gift Book takes my trains? I must have had a head of steam up, I sat down and wrote a second essay, this one called On Film. The two are not dissimilar, they are autobiographical, memorious, evocative (I hope) rather than nostalgic. Almost a diptych. I enjoyed writing both immensely.

Well, last week, when The Gift Book let me know I hadn't made the short list, I was far more disappointed than I would have been if I hadn't stupidly allowed myself to hope ... and now I've got two essays and only one competition. So I thought, how would it be if I sent the one on film to the essay comp. and posted the other here, in stages, perhaps five, because it'll be too long otherwise and long things don't look well in cyberspace?

That way I could restore some life to this site and also allay the disappointment I felt about that particular train missing its station, as it were.

... thinking about it anyway. I may start tomorrow.


richard lopez said...

at least half my reading now is online, martin. so a long essay is no bother when read onscreen. would like to read both essays.

Bernardus Sylvestris said...

I have been wondering about the blog also. I have been reading an early Hypertexter, Mark Bernstein, inventor of Tinkertoy a Mac hypertext programme. He was in NZ in March and Sydney last year.
He has coined the term nobitic for blogs written inter nos, for the inner circle.
You have to decide where your writing belongs.
I'ld be keen to read the essay.
I have also been reading David Mamet on film in the Guardian from 2004, great.

Bernardus Sylvestris said...

After my rash of spelling errors in a previous post I previewed thrice but at the last moment added one more italic and punched "Publish."
An incoherent tag swallowed my nobitic = inter nos

I'll leave it there.

Martin Edmond said...

what's the status of net-published work Richard? do you know? does anyone? think I'll hold back the film essay for the comp ...

nobitic is a good word ... I usually make a fairly clear distinction between what goes here & what aspires to print publication. maybe time to break down the walls.

it's a different word, but I hadn't realised till now that 'noble' and 'gnosis' have the same root.

richard lopez said...

personally, i make no distintions where or how a text is published. a piece published online, in my estimation, is as legitimate as one that is on paper and between to covers. and what about mimeo publishing from the 60s and 70s. is that not publishing too? there are so many good journals online now, that to quible about whether it is real publishing seems rather silly. perhaps we should start to think of texts as being in multiple places, online, paper, book, magazine, tho i don't think the issue is resolved for a lot of writers, yet.

Martin Edmond said...

yes, richard, I agree ... my confusion is with those who require that a piece be previously unpublished - they sometimes seem to mean print, but not electronic, publication.