Feb 13, 2009

A Preface to my Blog

A Preface to the Blog
I seldom read blogs and am extremely ambiguous about this one. I’m not sure what its aim is (a review and reflection of my “experiences” in India?). Who am I writing it for and why? I began writing for myself and in that sense it is extremely private. But I seem to recall reading somewhere that any writer, even someone writing in a journal, is always writing for an audience. Now to the extent that I share my “private” writing in a public space such as blog, I must think of the reader or an audience in mind. There cannot be a generic or universal audience toward whom a piece of writing can be directed. A general audience is often presumed to be a western one, one who might need “India” explained and represented. Or as my favorite postcolonial theorists would note this is the Eurocentrism that must be undone. Such “undoing” or “unlearning” is a task of the writer and the reader. Both have to work/read differently. This means then that my “private” writing is simultaneous public and informed by my presumed and audience. But my presumed audience is multiple in that this “blog” may be read by family, friends, and students (who include Indians, Americans – this time I can use this terms because it means folks from the USA but also Latin America!) but most likely not my colleagues (we don’t seem to read each other’s work unless we are required to. Perhaps because we are constantly busy with silly administrative or logistical tasks. OR because we are being “productive” with our own research and writing, (or worrying about not being “productive” enough in terms of getting grants publications which seems to be the only things that the University recognizes as “work” even as it keeps us spinning our wheels on other tasks. Perhaps the blog will be read by strangers and given that I cannot know who these strangers are, I must write for myself and most honestly and perhaps that may resonate with someone.