"This place is the rendezvous of the diseased"

--Matt Bramble, in The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker


This has to be one of the funniest novels I have ever read! This character is an old aristocrat and a hypochondriac. The novel is epistolary (i.e. all letters) and he is constantly writing to his personal physician, lamenting his illnesses...whatever it they are...and also his annoyance at the people in the spa town of Bath, England. Matt Bramble hates Bath because, well, I think "because," he is around genuinely sick people who don't have dignified illnesses such as the headache or gout. Anyway, he goes on and on about the smells of Bath and the wretched people there, and basically ends one of the letters to the doctor with the quote used in the title of today's blog.

The fact that the novel is told through letters got me thinking about blogs. Really, blogs are a story through letters. I always feel uncomfortable reading other people's letters/diaries/journals...so, what are we doing with blogs? It is public writing, but why do we even do this? First of all, is it out of pure vanity that I write on my blog, so that my words are actually out there and I can access them at all times in the invisible world of the internet??? And...what does it say about you guys reading my blog?? Yeah...you guys are just a bunch of voyeurs. You really just want to find out how screwed up my mind can be! But it is okay because I invited most of you here and I know that I have an audience. It is like a collectively addressed letter home! Still...why do we read old journals and letters? Why do we read blogs? I will ease anyone's embarrassment and say what we are really thinking: I WANT TO KNOW ALL. I WANT TO HAVE A SECRET KNOWLEDGE. Okay...maybe a little exaggerated. Still, why else am I reading the letters of George Eliot or Lord Byron? Something to think about....

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