What a week it’s been for blogs! First the re(re)turn of Gawker, and now the restoration of Ursula K. Le Guin’s full blog archive!
Le Guin, who died in 2018 at 88, started her blog at age 81, writing in her first entry (or “blog” as we in the blog biz call them) that she was inspired to do so by “José Saramago’s extraordinary blogs, which he posted when he was 85 and 86 years old. They were published this year in English as The Notebooks. I read them with amazement and delight.” She goes on:
I never wanted to blog before. I’ve never liked the word blog—I suppose it is meant to stand for bio-log or something like that, but it sounds like a sodden tree trunk in a bog, or maybe an obstruction in the nasal passage (Oh, she talks that way because she has such terrible blogs in her nose).
(Drag! Us! etc., etc.)
Though Le Guin’s blog went offline after her death (they were collected in a book, No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters), the author’s official Twitter account announced yesterday that it’s back up for your reading pleasure.
Le Guin closes out that first entry by writing “What I like at the moment is the sense of freedom. Saramago didn’t interact directly with his readers (except once). That freedom, also, I’m borrowing from him.” While I’m tempted to quibble with Le Guin’s assessment of the liberating powers of blogging, one need only look at the headline of this very bio-log to ascertain that anything goes around here. Freedom, indeed!
The writing itself is casual and wise and lovely (one line I particularly love: “I envy self-confidence even as I dislike it. Envy coexists only too easily with righteous disapproval. Indeed perhaps the two nasty creatures live off each other”). This will be thoroughly unsurprising to Le Guin fans, of course, though it’s always nice to be reminded that good writing transcends genre and label.