Online Life Writing: One Israeli's Search For Sanity
Michael Keren (University of Calgary, Canada,
mkeren at ucalgary.ca)
AbstractThis article introduces the burgeoning new medium of `blogs' — online diaries with links to websites of presumed interest. It argues that online diarists step into the traditional role attributed to intellectuals of providing society with meaning and guidance. Focusing on present day Israel, it shows how the failure of Israel's intellectuals in recent years to cater to civil society has led citizens to search for meaning and guidance on the Internet. Following one Israeli online diary as it unfolds on a daily basis, it demonstrates how a young woman, failing to receive from traditional intellectual sources the insights necessary to survive in a terror-stricken environment, steps into the vacuum in search of meaning and guidance, and negotiates her personal, social and political identity online. The article concludes with an evaluation of the blog as a means of public discourse, criticizing its failure to provide for a social dialogue in the real world.
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