Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Email from Mumbai (Janet Fine)

I'd lately sent a chit to my friend-in-Mumbai, Janet Fine. She replied with a quick note which I'll take liberty of reproducing. To wit:
dear david,
years ago you invented the blog when you were to write an e mail report for indian express and editor nandita now editor of Elle Magazine said it was too advanced to comprehend. well my internet was off for four days, strange
but did write and read more and now getting ready to leave,
today the Vet to cut the cat's nails and different meetings
to go and flow like Michaelangelo
all love from a city that never sleeps well Janet

So according to Janet, I invented the (idea of the) blog? Per what I've heard, she may've coined the word Bollywood. (Janet is a film journalist; but I've not gotten the exact story of her possible neologism-coinage. It's amusing enough as unverified tidbit.) From one unsung neologist/conceptualist to another: grazie!

I certainly didn't invent the blog. But it's true enough that when I'd initially taken a dive into internetted life (circa 1996) -- which in those days seemed to consist for me more of email listserv activity than of web-surfing (let alone blogging), I assembled for Janet some complex email reportage based (I think) on fragments of correspondence from the Buffalo Poetics List (or something). She floated the idea of a newspaper column reporting on internet wanderings (or the like). The idea didn't quite fly.

Nostalgic-hat-tips to all waters under myriad bridges, most of which are -- like thoughts themselves -- finally impersonal (sans ownership): in endless flow in our mysterious world.


Blogger Me said...

For the record, Justin Hall is often credited as the first blogger as he started way back in 94. John Barger was the guy who is supposed to have coined the term weblog in 97 which was broken into "we blog" by Peter Merholz in 99.
Sir, you are friends with celebs like Janet Fine. I remember her from a book reading of Kamasutra which she did when I was a teenager. I got my first computer when I was 19 and till then I used to read magazines Debonair. I am not sure but I think she wrote for it. Pay my regards to her when you contact her next time.

Tue Oct 11, 09:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

good to have a proper (corrected) "blog history" as such.

Hopefully Janet will show up here herself in future. The book she published in English translation, Lazzat un-Nisa [in one spelling] is related to the Kamasutra although technically a much later work (and not Sanskrit; her princely-states MS was primarily Urdu if I recall aright). We'll have to find out if Janet wrote for Benonair; it wouln't surprise.

cheers, d.i.

Tue Oct 11, 09:57:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

oops [erratum]: Debonair.

un-debonair of me
(not so debon [angelic]
such an err[or]).
to err is human
to debonair is debon [devic?]

<< Etymology: Middle English debonere, from Old French debonaire, from de bon aire of good family or nature >>

Tue Oct 11, 01:50:00 PM PDT  

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