Friday, June 03, 2011

History Essays In The Form Of Blog Posts--Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

The following "flash nonfiction" was accidentally posted yesterday as if it were posted a couple of days ago, because I started writing it a couple of days ago. I'm reposting it today to give it its best shot at getting an audience.

A couple of days ago I learned that some historians and journalists are marking the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War by "blogging" about events leading up to it. I think the posts at Disunion are a little more like real essays that are being published every day than true blog posts. Meaning that they're somewhat long. Of course, these things may be what historians and journalists think of as short.

I haven't been all that excited regarding this Civil War anniversary I've been hearing so much about because the Civil War is an event that has been pretty well covered over the years. But in this interview, one of the contributors to Disunion says of the war, "It’s been called the American Iliad, and it’s a little bit like Homer and the Homeric stories probably were to the ancient Greeks. Each generation for a thousand years in ancient Greek and Roman times, they would find different ways to retell, and to paint, and to carve that story. So I think, in our time today, we have a chance to tell the story of the Civil War, to look at the story of the Civil War, to paint the story of the Civil War in a different way than it was done in past generations"

I'm not a big fan of classic epic, either, but this view of the Civil War makes it more interesting to me. Also I like the way the Disunion posts I've seen so far cover aspects of the lead up to the war that I'm unfamiliar with. (Which would be many aspects.) And, of course, I'm interested in blogs, which I see as a form of flash nonfiction.

So I'll be giving that blog a shot, hoping to educate myself on nonfiction historical writing as well as the Civil War.


Sarah Rettger said...

Flash nonfiction to long-form journalism, apparently.

Gail Gauthier said...

It does sound like a similar layout, though the book says it's week by week, not day by day.

Honesty compels me to admit that I haven't been back to the Disunion Blog lately. I liked its Facebook page, hoping that would get me over there. I believe they've done two posts I've had to blow far.