25 August, 2012

once more, into the palimpsest!

a friend's random comment recently showed me that the palimpsest is alive and well in that most literary illiterate of public spaces: facebook. i'm not certain whether the facebook team, in an unprecedented brilliantly post-modern move enabled the creation of the palimpsest or whether it was merely an accident.

what happens is that you can edit and re-edit your fb comments, and, in classic palimpsest fashion, all pre-edited versions are visible to those who choose to look for them. this makes little sense when viewed in a purely practical light - after all, the whole point of editing one's comment is to take away the typo, the heat-of-the-moment angry words, the inappropriate remark, the misspelled name, the pointed slur, the unfinished thought, and substitute the proper spelling, the witty retort, the fully formed and polished sentence that would leave one's mama proud. editing and leaving behind the electronic version of the scribbled, liquid-papered over, ink-stained first draft makes absolutely no sense, unless we see in this the oh so subtle gift of the palimpsest: thoughts layered upon thoughts, inklings half-formed morphing elegantly into fully fledged ideas, philosophical debates with the self resolved, mental disorder, step by step, evolving into cool clear analysis. or you can just insult someone repeatedly as a joke and see if they have the mental wherewithal to discover your hidden arsenal of abuse.

take this gift that i have given you, my friends, and go forth to create a palimpsest treasure trove on facebook before they fix things, leaving us all the poorer for it! go now!



p.s. i have written about the palimpsest once before but because i am pathologically technologically under-informed and the "ctrl+f" feature didn't work, you will be spared having to read an ancient post on my having once woken up with the word "palimpsest" on my lips. that's all that happened and to this day i can't explain it. still, having the idea of the palimpsest easily within one's reach tends to keep things more interesting.


4 comments:

Geneviève said...

Your are SO ready for grad school.

puncturedbicycle said...

My thoughts exactly (see comment above)!

Lucy said...

I like the falsely analogous adjectival coinage 'palimpsestuous'.

the polish chick said...

g, yeah, maybe, ok, sure, let's hope so.

pb, see above.

lucy, that's bloody brilliant. now what does it mean?