I was given a new digital radio for Christmas, and now have radios installed in every room of my flat, meaning I can listen to my beloved Radio 4 wherever I am. This morning I was interested to hear John Lichfield, the Independent newspaper’s France correspondent, talking about France. Well, of course he was actually talking about his new book, a compilation of his essays on all things French.
He explained that while as a correspondent he wrote mainly about the major political stories of the day, he also wrote observational pieces and reports of trivial things that happened in his everyday life in Paris. These more ephemeral pieces often produced bigger postbags as they chimed with readers. He pointed out that no-one now is interested in (or remembers) the beef war of the 1990s and all the petty politicking from year to year, but “what happened to me in the baker the other day” can carry universal truth and experience and endure for years. Thus, the ephemeral is longer-lived than the important news stories of the day.
It struck me that tins is very true in blogging too. Sometimes I wish I could chase news stories and blog about them in real time, but I can’t devote the time that would require. A more personal approach, sometimes taking the long (or sideways) view, works better for me.
I think this is perhaps a feature of several bloggers here at Occam’s Typewriter. We celebrate the really important ephemeral tales of life, scientific and otherwise, rather than focusing on the here today, gone tomorrow, big splash news stories
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