One of the major advantages of blogging besides a future of large royalty checks and spam emails from virtual admirers, is the freedom to write about anything you want to in a manner that is not necessarily restricted by form. As David Shields writes in his literary montage Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (2010), forms and genres have become such hybrids, that there is little distinction between fiction and nonfiction. This is especially true with one of the more slippery genres – the memoir, which is really fiction considering the vagaries of memory. “Anything processed by memory is fiction,” writes Shields.
The book is divided into twenty-six chapters of six hundred and eighteen sequences of varying in length from a short sentence to several paragraphs. Shields describes his work as taking: “various fragments of things—aborted stories, outtakes from novels, journal entries, lit crit-- and build a story out of them. I really had no idea what the story would be about; I just knew I needed to see what it would look like to set certain shards in juxtaposition to other shards.” Shields makes it even more interesting by choosing not to include attributions for his material; however, to avoid possible legal problems, Shields' publisher forced him to list of source material in the appendix. (Thankfully so, because there are other authors and articles, worth checking out.)
Not only is Shields entertaining as much as he is insightful, but the book serves a manifesto to bloggers that is more important for the prose be energetic, succinct, and not boring (the greatest sin according to Shields) than to worry about the exact slot your writing falls into. Or in the words of Sheilds: "Genre is a minimum security prison."
Note: Another one of Shields book worth looking at is Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity The artwork comes from the author's website though I don't really think he cares if we do the attribution or not.