Words Online

By: Siddhartha Biswas  

Blogs have become a considerable phenomenon. The most interesting thing about blogs is their readership. Blogs are micro-narratives. They are supposed to be quite short and within that span blogs manage to address a variety of issues. These issues are addressed from intense personal points of view, often without any obvious link to the Grand Narrative (or some similar larger narratives). In fact, for a large number of people these blogs are an attempt to make sense of life through familiar filters. The blogger does not become a Guru; rather the blogger looks at the ordinary crises that rule our lives. Often the blogger becomes a keeper of records – with focus on the history and architecture. These serve an invaluable role in the preservation of many memories which are insignificant vis-à-vis institutionalized history, but they become the bricks, the micro-histories that often offer clues in constructing a larger understanding of a time. Their records (though there is an absurd number of such around) serve an immediate purpose of preserving a life that will definitely disappear quite soon. Anecdotes are important. But anecdotes get lost in time faster than stories. Blogs may just be the anecdotes that stay, and defeat dotage. The blogger as teller allows his or her readers to share the stories that are more than stories – they allow people to go beyond their own lives and travel in time and space.

Blog, Readership, Social Media, History, Anecdote, Micro-narrative
New Media, Technology and the Arts
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Siddhartha Biswas

Associate Professor, English Language and Literature, University of Calcutta

I have taught English Literature for over 20 years. My career began at St Paul's Cathedral Mission College, Kolkata, where I have taught for 17 years. My doctoral thesis (from University of Calcutta) was on Harold Pinter's screenplays. My areas of interest include Translation Studies, Theatre Studies and Popular Culture. I have a number of articles published in scholarly journals and books. My last book was Theatre Theory and Performance, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (UK). My edited volume titled Looking for Home: Journey and Boundary in Postmodern Texts, should be published by Atlantic (India) later this year. I am also a blogger and an amateur photographer. My blog has been read by people in more than 40 countries.