Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Inside the Writer's Studio

When thinking about electronic literature and digital culture, it's easy to start feeling untethered from the real, physical world. You can do so much of your reporting from behind your laptop screen--you really have to work to get out there, to meet people, to see and record things.

Text, after all, has an element that is completely abstract and non-corporeal. (Until it's set down as writing or printing.) But people, at the very least, still live in real, tangible, physical spaces and are formed by specific environments. I've been thinking a lot about this notion of physicality vs. virtuality as I prepare to (hopefully) profile some artists working with digital text.

Given all that, I was totally charmed to come across this feature from the Guardian called "Writers' Rooms," which shows the desks and offices of famous (non-digital) writers. Here's Martin Amis's office, for example, above.

If you've read Rob Boynton's book The New New Journalism, you'll know that the most fascinating parts of the interviews--if you're a writer yourself--are when Boynton asks tthem what kind of pens they use, where they like to position their desk lamps, and what kind of notebooks they like to carry in their pockets. A friend of mine likes to call that part "journalist porn," and I totally agree.

No comments: