Blogs, Writers’ Laboratories after the Crisis of 2001

Universidad Nacional de Córdoba - Centro de Estudios Avanzados

January 11, 2016 | 6 ′ 58 ′′


Blogs, Writers’ Laboratories after the Crisis of 2001


In the first years of 2000, the use of blogs was common among Argentinean writers, especially among the new generation ones, who are now between 35 and 45 years old. A researcher carried out a survey of more than twenty blogs and determined that what makes them different is their double condition of personal and relational space which allowed to use them as writing tests, as well as relational and outreach spaces.

Although towards the end of the decade most writers had abandoned the maintenance of their virtual compasses, the consequences of the phenomenon were felt in the panorama of the national literary production. In the frame of his work for the PhD in Social Studies of Latin America from the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Diego Vigna surveyed more than 20 blogs from well-known Argentinean writers.

The exploratory study departed from some questions: what did the writers published in their blogs, what are the relations between those authors, their virtual texts and their works edited in paper and why and what for did they decide to periodically maintain those sites.

The starting point had to do with the issue about the meeting between poetic and technical language -the emergence of new technologies in the field of literary production-, as a sociological look on the problem. Vigna was not interested in enquiring on the author’s subjectivities, but in analyzing the relation between individual production and the medium as a supported and context, as determining and possibility.

In this sense, it is important to observe that the context of appearance of the blog is simultaneous to the reformulation of the intellectual and literary field, due to the structural crisis that Argentina went through at the end of 2001. “In face of the economic crisis, the strong contraction and concentration of the editorial market, the search for new expression and production media and the consequent spread alternatives -mainly for the new ones- were the internet and digital supports. The more difficult the access to a book, the more personal and collective projects emerged in the digital media. The blog phenomenon grew, boosted to a greater extent due to young authors in search for visibility and gave place to alternative circulation and promotion ways, as well as to new and fragmentary routines and Reading possibilities”, explains the researcher.

The author of the study revealed the spaces and categorized the contents published: prose (produced for the blog or reproduced from the paper-work), contents from other writers and marginal texts (produced for presentations, for example). Later, he defined use profiles: the blog as a journal, as a communication space, as notes or as a writing test for the work written in paper, as an archive or personal anthology, press instrument, fiction work, personal magazine or cultural portal cultural.

The use that caught the greatest attention according to the writers’ everyday work was that of test space, the blog as the space for narrative experiments. “It has to do with assimilating a new format, new routines and to see how that works in relation to what interests the writers the most, which is trying. That seems to have a peak, but later it decreased”, indicated Vigna to Argentina Investiga.

Those narrative experiments were part of the new writing variants, related to the format possibilities. “The classic relation of fiction between history and writing symbology, as Josefina Ludmer says, and due to those movements and the media nature, the present became the terrain where everything can happen and from which writing emerges”, explains Vigna. And adds: “There were some evident change characteristics -which were assimilated by that generation-, which are not new, but an up-dating. The self was exacerbated, the chronic of the present, the environment, diary’s format was up-dated, that is, the self-reference found a new way of appearing”.

The e-book as a legacy

Beyond this appearance of new narrative characteristics, Vigna highlights that one of the verifications of the research process is that although new technologies had some important roles related to the literary field’s legitimation mechanisms, they were not decisive from the point of view of a change in the production paradigm, authors or the editorial field. Paper books as a final destination is still central, in the authors’ expectations, as well as in the dynamics f the editorial economy. But it left consequences to which the author refers to as “small inflections”. “Small for now, because they might maybe deepened in time”, he clarifies.

The appearance of the e-book is one of them. “It is something that takes the digital universe’s tools to try to produce an editorial alternative. But this is in the middle of the road, because the e-book simulates to be a book: it is like a book, it is a continuation varying the support”, explains Vigna.

Another inflection is related to diffusion. “There was a change in the vinculation strategies. It was something started by blogs and which continued with the digital exchange platforms; it is “exchange” because there does not seem to be a real, experiential exchange; if at any time it occurred and was good, it is unfashionable now”.

Precisely, for the researcher, in order to explain the blog’s declination, it is central that the issue of visibility gained almost exclusive importance. “It seemed to be the main thing. And if that is the most extended, the blog stopped being efficient. But Vigna chooses to talk about format’s “abandoning” instead of “death”, and he highlights that, among the things it left, the blog “left the door open”.

Diego Vigna has a PhD in Latin American Social Studies by the Centro de Estudios Avanzados (CEA) de la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. His research on Argentinean writers’ blogs in the twenty-first century was published as a book at the end of 2014, under the title “La década posteada” (The Blogged Decade) by the CEA and Alción publishing house. More information in ladecadaposteada.wordpress.com.

Andrés Fernández
comunicacion@rectorado.unc.edu.ar
Eloísa Oliva
Prosecretaría de Comunicación Institucional


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