This is a lovely reflection from Mark Fisher on the split self involved in writing, as part of a “a performance, but not one that is false”:
A theme here is blogging’s tendency to summon a strange double, a second self that seems both alien yet which cannot entirely be disavowed.
It doesn’t strike me that, in this respect, blogging is different from any other type of published writing. As Borges established in his masterly micro-vignette on the irreducibly gothic character of writing, ‘Borges and I’, even if one writes in one’s own name, writing itself produces a semblable, a doppelganger which both is and is not oneself. (This is quite different from what Steve describes: the deliberate assumption of a wholly invented persona in MOOs, etc.)
Perhaps writing – or more specifically, writing about oneself – only reveals the inherently split nature of the subject: the ‘the other one, the one called Borges … the one things happen to’ in ‘Borges and I’ is the subject of the statement, the Borges who observes that ‘I do not know which of us has written this page’ is the subject of the enunciation. Any use of the pronoun ‘I’ will always exposes this split, this spaltung.
Categories: Post-Pandemic Scholarship