Welcome to a World of Literature

Everything you need to know about the world's great writers and emerging voices is being collected and shared on the English PEN Online World Atlas. Head over to the Atlas to create (or edit) a profile for your favourite author or book, leave a comment or contact another user, and discover your next great read. We believe that great writing has the power to change your life and change the world, one book at a time.

The Atlas is proud to be partnering with the Hay Festival's Beirut39 contest, celebrating Beirut's year as UNESCO World Book Capital, to find the hottest authors under 40 of Arabic origin. Nominations are open until August 24th, 2009.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Memory Online

A beautiful, meditative article by journalist and novelist Robin Yassin-Kassab (aka blogger qunfuz), about French Algerian culture, Chab Hasni, and rai. Written for the National, it pushes the blog towards the literary essay. Blogs are so often about the present moment -- new media offers a way to record, map and share the present in a way that is unprecedented -- so it's strange and wonderful to read such an extended memory-piece online.


liat said...

you're right -- it's a beautiful article. but wasn't it published in a newspaper, and only then reposted on a blog? i don't really see how this says anything about new media, then...

PEN Atlas said...

Absolutely a fair point (and thanks for the comment) -- but as Eliot Weinberger discusses in the afterword to What Happened, the internet (and blogs in particular) have made it possible to circulate printed texts in a way that was a challenge even for widespread print media: the article can be read for free (practically, not to ignore the expense of the technology, power, broadband access, etc), almost instantaneously, and onscreen. I think it's a transitional case, perhaps -- but it suggests that the blog form can accommodate (and alter) the essay. Or maybe not?

Add to Technorati Favorites MetaxuCafe