Friday, 7 December 2007

Novelistic News

Who can claim to be immune from the odd bout of tipsy pretension? There is a certain conceited satisfaction to be had swirling cheap red wine around an outsized glass and pretending to follow a discussion on avant-garde opera late on a Friday night. I urge you to try it. If Eko Eschun and Mariella Frostrup’s features swim and morph into a drunken blurry soup, simply place a hand over one eye or admit defeat and fall into a fitful slumber.

Mark Lawson used to host the Late Review and he has an article in the Guardian today pondering the novelistic qualities of some recent news stories. He gives some examples but misses out the most intriguing and apposite story – the Byzantine thriller of London’s Polonium Murder.

Nevertheless there are some interesting ideas in the piece, particularly when Lawson ponders the internet’s influence. His argument is that access to media such as Facebook or indeed blogging encourages people to live their lives as a “structured narrative”. The acts they commit become more akin to fiction than reality and they provide their accompanying commentary through these websites.

This blurring of life and art is a pillar of post-modernism and certainly isn’t a new idea. It is an intriguing notion however that a new sensibility influenced by the web and other new media is having a real effect on the stories we are seeing in conventional news sources.

2 comments:

CW said...

Educated middle class people getting paid to talk bollocks using big words and thus getting a smug sense of satisfaction by feeling superior to the lower classes. It's nothing new.

Chekov said...

I wouldn't disagree with you cw. There's an awful lot of bollocks talked on that programme. I was going to say that sometimes I'm in the mood for some bollocks, but that could be misconstrued ......