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Frustrating Review in the San Francisco Chronicle :comments

Posted by Hal
Tags: production, Video sharing, Voyeurism

This is an interesting, if frustrating, review of The Peep Diaries: the reviewer doesn’t seem to like the book, and relies primarily on sweeping statements that dismiss my arguments. I would have liked more specifics, from the real world and from my book, to have been raised by way of demonstrating why I am wrong about just about everything. For instance, the reviewer’s most damning accusation is this: “Why we want so desperately to give up privacy mostly eludes Niedzviecki.” Okay then, how exactly does it elude me, and why are we do desperate to give up privacy? What follows reads like a kind of riddle:

Why we want so desperately to give up privacy mostly eludes Niedzviecki. The line between exercising individuality or surrendering it is blurry. Liberalism thrives on people’s desire for split personas. We might as well question fiction, diaries and intimate letters. Self-expression merges reality and fiction. This discomforts Niedzviecki, who makes a fetish of ‘the real.’ Questioning the reality of the self is a starting point for likewise questioning religion, nation and history. One of Niedzviecki’s subjects, who let his life be distorted (edited?) for reality TV, likens it to torture. But Peep culture denizens voluntarily give up privacy. Art is driven by the urge for commonality, even as the audience is uncertain (Niedzviecki is torn by this paradox).”

Lots of interesting stuff to think about and parse in there, but it’s all generalization, nothing specific, nothing substantive. I like the questioning tone, I just don’t like the sweeping pronouncements.

Any responses and thoughts people?

 

Comments: -1-, Add yours…

I’d think I’d have had to read your book first before saying anything that made sense. You should say whether it’s necessary to have read your book first.

By AFlows on 2009 07 22

 

  

The Bloggist

Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...

 

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