The post to explain the post that isn’t a post

4 May

I would like to write a little about the relationship (or the contrasts or the comparisons between or whatever word you would use) between Helen Garner’s decision to use the name ‘Helen’ as the narrator of The Spare Room and the way bloggers decide to use their own names or synonyms or some combination of the two or sometimes change their minds (and what happens after that).

It is potentially very interesting, I think, to talk about such things. For example, I feel myself blogging very differently now that I am merely pseudonymous and no longer anonymous.

However, I can’t write about such things, because I have not read the book. It’s all a bit too close to home right now all of that about death and anger and so forth. I’ve picked the book up three or four times now – I almost know the first page by heart – but it’s not going to work. I won’t be reading for it a while.

Have you read Dorothy Porter’s El Dorado? You should. Let me know when you’ve read it, and I will tell you a little about how reading El Dorado kept making me thing about blogging.

And if you’ve got nothing to do, do feel free to come and help me conquer this Mountain of Washing.

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12 Responses to “The post to explain the post that isn’t a post”

  1. miriam May 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    only if i can bring my own Mountain along… in fact, three Mountains – whites, brights, and darks

  2. ThirdCat May 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm #

    perhaps we should create a Mountain Range

  3. miriam May 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm #

    three, i think – the blue mountains, the snowy mountains and the amber ridge 😉

  4. suse May 4, 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    I did all our washing this weekend so I’ll be right over.

    But first. This is a topic I am quite interested in (blognames, not laundry).

    When I started blogging (with very little thinking; I just discovered the world of blogging and had my own blog within about three days) I didn’t want to go completely anonymous with a name like thirdcat or totallybrillwriter or some such. Yet I wasn’t quite ready to say Hi world, I’m Susan! (Or Sue or anything I actually am in real life). So a combination of the real name and the anonymous fitted, thus even though it’s fairly obvious what my real name is, it’s also a name that I am not called in my ‘real’ life. Of course now I have met other bloggers in the flesh and several of them have become friends who I meet regularly, and they always call me Suse (and they comment that it feels weird to call me Susan).

    So now my two worlds they are colliding. At first it felt decidedly odd and slightly uncomfortable but now it’s fine. And the gap between my blog persona and the real me is narrowing.

    A friend of mine (a writer called Tracy, ha!) once did a workshop with Helen Garner in which she spoke about the naming of her characters. Apparently when she wrote Monkey Grip, she wanted the main character to have a name that could be shortened into a very unattractive word. Viz. Nora – Nor (gnaw). Just like Helen – Hell.

    I look forward to coming back and reading the other comments (not the laundry ones).

  5. suse May 4, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    Oh gawd, I’ve just noticed the tiara is gone, replaced with parasites.

    You have my deepest sympathies.

    Suse/Susan/Sue/but never Susie thankyouverymuch.

  6. Stomper Girl May 4, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    I am in full agreement about the parasites, just removed a nice big nit from the firstborn tonight.

    I haven’t read the HG book but want to. However, I am finding that not having gone with my own name (although I’ve admitted my name during the last couple of years) the blog identity is really quite fun! I love being Stomper Girl, and when people refer to me as “Stomper” I am hugely tickled. I like it much more than “SG”.

    Having said that, I’m not really sure if that was the point of your post but seeing as I’ve already ‘fessed up to not having read the book, perhaps it’s okay if I’ve wandered off on the wrong tangent?

  7. ThirdCat May 4, 2008 at 8:12 pm #

    Oh, indeed it is, Stomper. But I don’t think it was really a tangent. I didn’t really have just the one point, except to point out that one day I wanted to make a point. Stomper Girl is an ace name.

    Regarding the head lice…we have got them under control. The chemicals might work for you, but for us, nothing less than conditioner and the comb every third night for three weeks.

  8. Mummy Crit May 4, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Anonymity is a weird one. I’ve always been Crit online, mainly for reasons of gender ambiguity, but not much use for anonymity as it’s my RL nickname. Good in some ways ‘cos it means that if people I know want to find me, they can. Possibly bad in others.

  9. tut-tut May 6, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    I like having my little moniker and avatar; I think I wouldn’t be so forthcoming (and that’s not saying much) if I had to be there as myself.

  10. Stomper Girl May 6, 2008 at 11:03 am #

    Conditioner and combing, all the way.

  11. fifi May 6, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    I have never been too keen for my students to google me and discover that I am in fact a stinking big fish with gills. I’m not sure whether that would be alarming or not. Occasionally there are pictures of me on a certain other website sans most of my clothes. That certainly IS alarming for some.

    All of my names are real. People call me all of them, variously. The lastupenda one comes from singing while competing in ocean races and jamming my head into places I shouldn’t because I get distracted and forget where I’m going.

    anyway. conditioner and the comb that has no spaces. The resulting felt in its teeth ought to be good for something.

  12. JahTeh May 7, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    I always commented with my initials before blogging so I just lengthened them. I remain anonymous, read no facebook/myspace, or I wouldn’t be able to say rotten things about the neighbours or ex-husband.

    I’ve read an extract of the book but it’s a little too close to home at the moment so it’s back to fantasyland with Harry Potter.

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