Thursday, April 03, 2003

Eileen Tabios pointed out to me that I might have been a bit hasty yesterday in using the pronoun "us," as when I said that Silliman has "made the rest of us have to think about what directions we see our own work, and that of others, going." She rightly noted that this could be seen as presuming to speak for all poetry bloggers everywhere, and that not all poets would regard Silliman's blog in this light. While I highlighted the way in which poetry blogland might correspond to lines of power evident in the "real" poetry world, I failed to note the way in which blogs could actually set up quite different structures of influence that might even be seen as critical of such lines of power. "We" are not all having one conversation, nor should we be. In fact, my post could have been read not simply as describing but as ratifying Silliman's power.

I think what Charles Bernstein called "the conspiracy of 'us'" is particularly evident in a blog, which is always negotiating between a very small reading community (writing and talking to a half dozen friends--an "us") and a potentially wider public, and it's easy to blur the two--which is of course one of the charms of blogging, that potential for self-forgetting. Also one of its risks.

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