Thursday, June 19, 2008

The blog as veil: a cautionary tale

How well do you know me?

And is it Kelly you know or is it the Don Mills Diva?

Are they the same person or is one an alter-ego, a character, constructed to appeal to, or provoke a reaction from, my readers?

Would it surprise you to hear me confess that the latter question is one I have asked myself on more than one occasion?

There are so many, many things about blogging that fascinate me and foremost among them is the notion that a blog might provide a space in which a person can construct an alternate identity.

That’s probably why I have spent the last several days obsessively reading Catherine Sanderson’s book Petite Anglaise to the detriment of pretty much everything else in my life.

Petite Anglaise is also the name of a blog that Sanderson has written since 2005 to document her life as an English ex-pat working and raising her toddler daughter in Paris. In Petite Anglaise the book, she provides an unflinching account of the events that lead her to leave her child’s father for one of her blog’s commenters and how the increasing popularity of her blog started to inform the way she viewed herself and ultimately conducted her life.

Read more about Petite Anglaise and my musing on the blog as veil over at Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews. You can also leave a comment over there and enter to win your very own copy of the book. I'll even ship it to you - now git!

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26 comments:

Kami said...

Oh that books sounds really interesting! Off to read your review...

krissy said...

Whoa, that's pretty deep.

I would love to say that I do in fact have an alter ego but I really am the same person I am on my blog. It's sometimes a venting area so I don't scream at my husband instead.

But I totally get the point and find it very, very interesting.

angie said...

I'm heading over now for more.......

flutter said...

this is totally fascinating to me

Schmutzie said...

You're being featured on Five Star Friday:
http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2008/06/five-star-friday-edition-11.html

Mental P Mama said...

Yet another book to add to my summer reading list...

Beth said...

Yeah, I wish there would be some secret poll of bloggers who really have alternate identies to their "real" lives.

I'll be reading your review now... thanks~

caramama said...

This sounds fascinating! I'm going to have to get it! Thanks for the review.

amanda said...

first can i just say that every time you stumble into my world, i get giddy?

please don't think that weird of me - i just don't know how you do it?? and seriously i kinda think you are a celeb :)

going over now to read more about the book!!

Stephanie said...

Interesting! I'm always looking for a new book. You have enticed me. I may have to add this one to my list.

Valarie said...

The book sounds interesting. I definitely have a blogging alter-ego. She is funnier, nicer and much, much thinner than I. :)

kay said...

i never thought of that. i may have to start a new blog about what my alter ego should be! :)

iheartchocolate said...

Nice to *meet* ya.
Love your blog title! So creative..

Melissa said...

Interesting...looks like I have a new book to add to my list!

Cheffie-Mom said...

Wow, very interesting. And what an interesting place France is! I did not want to come home from our trip! My husband is very lucky I got on the airplane going home!

Haley-O said...

really great review, DMD! The book sounds fascinating....

Stacey said...

You know, I've often had that thought as well and I do warn people that I know that read my blog that there's a certain amount of "creative licence" going on over there.
I'm heading over right now to leave a comment as I want to know more!

Stacey said...

Oh I forgot to mention (and I hope you'll forgive me on the basis that I live a bazillion miles away and have never been to Canada), that I thought your name was Don Mills, Diva.

OHmommy said...

I read the entire book in 3 days. And. I have thought about my own journey, often.

I, know, that I have created a persona. But it is actually very close to who I am. However, I would never ever share as many details as Peitite did. Ever.

I can't wait to talk to you in less then one month. Seriously!!!!!

Lilacspecs said...

I'll head over there right now. Definitely sounds like an interesting read! And thanks for stopping by my blog.

JCK said...

Now THAT is a fascinating discussion!

Working mum said...

Yes, you are right about our blogging selves. I tell my friends that my blog is a skewed view of my life - although honest, there is so much more I don't publish.

The thing I found scary about Petite Anglaise was that she started living her life in a way to write about it, rather than writing about what happened. Her experience with her employers was also a salutory tale!

Kyla said...

You know, despite the blog-press this book as gotten, the reason I have no desire to pick it up is the premise. I tend to believe that the people I know through blogs ARE true to themselves, because every single one I've met has been. Blogging isn't about alternate identity for me...it is about having a space to be myself FOR myself.

kittenpie said...

I found it interesting how much she looks at that and seems to strip it away for the book, though giong back to some undergrad life writing course blah blah, any time we are engaged in self-portrayal, we are constructing, so even while she sheds, she is showing something that she has decided to show. But yes, interesting, an makes you think a bit about the things you choose not to talk about on blog.

Kimmylyn said...

I am reading this right now.. and so far I love it!!

Jaina said...

That sounds like an interesting book. As for you, I think I see you kind of as both. I guess in the way the the Diva is how you write, and Kelly is who you are? Sorry, that's getting really abstract. Bottom line? I love your blog, and this book will definitely be something I check out.