Kategoriarkiv: English

Jonathan Franzen on the 19th-Century Writer Behind His Internet Skepticism – Joe Fassler – The Atlantic

Ideen om at vi er nødt til at begrænse brug af alle de muligheder vi har nu til dage, tiltrækker mig meget.
Det er som om det er i vores tidsalder at det er blivet meget aktuelt.
Det gælder for vores energiforbrug, brug af plads og naturens resourcer, de muligheder som videnskab giver os eller som her brug af det sociale internet:

Jonathan Franzen on the 19th-Century Writer Behind His Internet Skepticism – Joe Fassler – The Atlantic

“The groupthink of the Internet and the constant electronic stimulation of the devices start to erode the very notion of an individual who is capable of, say, producing a novel.”
  • Good novels are produced by people who voluntarily isolate themselves, and go deep, and report from the depths on what they find.
  • And so it seems to me that the writer’s responsibility nowadays is very basic: to continue to try to be a person, not merely a member of a crowd.
  • I’m trying to monitor my own soul as carefully as I can and find ways to express what I find there.

Languages again, again/ Om sproget på bloggen

As mentioned before, ( for example her and her) I have some trouble deciding which language to write in. I therefore maintained a blog in danish, which,  since September 2010, resulted into 19 posts. This English blog however wasn’t really updated since.

As I now, basically always, write my thoughts in Danish (whilst trying hard to get it grammatically correct), I no longer feel inclined to write English posts.
So I decided to keep moving forward – or something like that – and to add posts in danish here.
This will probably result in this blog turning into a Danish one – but that might just be my future anyway.

So here we go:

For at denne blog ikke går helt i stå, har jeg tænkt mig at tilføje de få indlæg jeg trods alt har produceret på en sandkasseblog på dansk.

Det bliver måske en smule rodet med to sprog på samme side, men mon ikke at det i fremtiden giver bedre mening.

Jeg kan desværre ikke skrive helt fejlfrit dansk endnu – jeg startede først at skrive dansk for cirka 2 år siden, men jeg kan kun håbe på at øvelsen gør lærlingen bedere.

Languages Again

As ever I have trouble finding out which language to use when I write, and who knows, even when I think. I have been writing in English the last years, but I try to speak Danish in my normal life (not to mention the other languages that are running around somewhere in my head).
Lately I started writing some more things in Danish, and as I didn’t know where to put these on this English blog, I decided to add a wordpress.com blog in danish to it. Just to keep things gathered in the right places. I’ll just see what happens with it, as I don’t want to force me to use a certain language. When I read a book in Danish or Dutch, my natural reaction is to write about it in its language, and the same happens when I listen to a radio program, a video or whatever.

For now I decided to try not to worry about it, even though I know that as a result of changing languages none of them will perhaps be used in an eloquent way, but I will put my trust in the eventual power of simplicity. I have to.

Think, talk and write.

Following the news and joining debates about the political, social or even financial issues is perhaps beneficial for democracy, but I am not always sure about it. Nowadays in our fast media there is a lot of debate and action going on about thousands of things. Do we need all these fast opinions, or should those important debates take place in a slightly slower pace, with thoughtfull people who have studied the subject for a longer time because they have a genuine interest in the subject?

A lot of the news in the media is created by the media itself. They live from producing news and that’s also what they do, every day. We, the audience, need to be conscious and aware of our world. What is it we need to know, what are our interests and needs? If we know then we can decide what news is for us, and we can adjust our daily intake of it.
There is so much debth in every problem that remains in the dark, that it can make one feel rather hopeless sometimes.
Take for example history. As a young student we would ask the teacher: “What is the use of history, why do we need to learn all this old news?” We probably got an answer that didn’t really satisfy us, as we couldn’t really grasp its meaning.
Now I know. There are so many things that happened before, yes – there is nothing new actually – that it is amazing that we often are unaware of it. We make the same mistakes again and again but we treat them as something unique and new, and we try to find some sort of solution that will work for the moment. But how many times could we have foreseen it? Did we learn from previous occasions?

I had written these thoughts down some days ago, but decided not to publish them as I was unsure about their value. But I just read on Thomas Nyhland’s blog (in swedish) that he stops talking about politics. One of the reasons is that he doesn’t want to be dragged into endless, and in his opinion often not well-thought, political discussions – also because he feels that he already clearly stated his opinion on numerous occasions.
Part of his reasoning might come from the same sort of feeling that I tried to express here. One can write about politics, or one can try to focus on one’s deepest voice inside. In our information-overflow world, where everybody has a voice, these two things can probably not be combined.

I never liked fairy tales

(edit: I found this post from febr. 2008, written just before I started this blog. I might as well publish it here. I’ll write soon about how/why I found it)
H. C. Andersen. Source: Wikipedia

I never liked fairy tales, not even as a child. Yesterday I visited the H. C. Andersen museum in Odense and it didn’t really help me to change my mind. As a boy I liked the set-up of the stories, the athmosphere and questions that arose during the reading. I often was wondering how the story would end and how all problems would be solved. But the solutions that were offered to create an end to the stories were most of the times very unsatisfying. It was as if the writer didn’t know himself and just when it became interesting he or she created a witch or a fairy to do some magic and suddenly solve all unsolved endings. And they live happily ever after and got many children. Boom! End.

I had in mind that H.C. Andersen and the Grimm Brothers used old folk tales and other sources and I got the idea that those original sources might be more interesting than these uninspired endings.

During my visit to the museum yesterday I got the impression that H. C. Andersen was a hard working writer that gave almost everything in order to succeed. He tried many things to get his career going and apparently had the plan of producing as much as possible and hoping that something might work some day. This fits with my idea of the writer of the fairy tales being someone who knew how to write a story but who didn’t had much to add.

It is also interesting to make a comparison between all his travels and visits to the upper class of Europe, and an, especially in our days, often advised managment plan of making one’s name known by giving interviews, lectures and making as much noise as possible. His travel activities must have helped him making a career in writing, which might explain part of his fame.

According to the museum there are some reports of H. C. Andersen being unaware of the impression he made during these visits (most striking when visiting Charles Dickens) and probably unjustly combined with the fact that the seemed to be unsuccesful with woman I got the idea that he might have been a hard working man that had his mind set up on succeeding as a writer.
The texts of the exhibition gave the impression that he wasn’t perfectly happy about his private life. It must have been tough for the young H.C. to become anything at all considering his unfortunate background, so his determination must have been vital for him during the main part of his life. One wonders if it didn’t turn into an obsession that ruled his life a little too much to become happy. It is nice that people like his stories but it must have been even more important for him as a person to live a happy life.