Darby Dixon points to a troubling new trend among today’s cultural tastemakers. Today, a professional writer can now be employed to write about reading about writing or reading about writing about reading, with several nots thrown in at random intervals, if we assume the writers to be keeping track. I must confess that all this gives me a headache. The silence is not pillowy exactly. But it is certainly quite silly and possibly Freudian.
I feel that I have contributed to this atmosphere with lengthy blog posts responding to reviews of books, and therefore exhort all to point to my culpability in the matter. In my defense, I should note that I never suggested to an editor that I should collect a check for writing such a piece. But now I am writing about writing about writing about reading, thereby adding a fourth layer of self-reference. And should you, dear readers, decide to comment upon this post, you will be writing about writing about writing about writing about reading. And how then can we live with ourselves?
All this sets a bad precedent for meta, dutifully putting the Quine in quinine. (Quite literally.) Or does it? Is there no limit to the onion?
Of the three paragraphs I have now written, I think the first one is probably the best, although I’ll probably change my mind when I approach this sentence’s period.
I am still unaware of how one “stabs over” to an online bookstore. This suggests that the online bookstore is a carapace to be pierced. And perhaps it is, assuming that it possesses the corporeal qualities of reference. Perhaps the preposition is the dagger I see before me or just a creepy beast caught in the morphological undertow. So I’ll see your self-reference and raise you with evidence to the contrary: