Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The F Word

My friend The New York Crank says he’s not posting these days because he is busy working for money.

“You are,” I responded with imagined suavity “a feuilletonist.” And then because I couldn’t help myself, I added: to be a blogger, you need to be a flâneur.

I spoke, as is my wont, unencumbered by any real knowledge. It turns out I was at least a little bit right. Indeed it appears that a feuilleton is “A short literary essay or sketch,” which is pretty much what NYC writes. That sort of thing take enough effort that you really can't bring it off in competition with a day job.

But with flâneur, I am in deeper tapioca. Somehow I had thought that a flâneur was “writer of short paragraphs,” a mini-feuilletonist, a blogger. Wrong: a flâneur is “an aimless idler; a loafer”—in short, someone who doesn’t really have the time of the discipline to write anything, big or small. And certainly not my good friend NYC.

This completes our message. Readers may resume idling; or for valuable prizes, they are invited to opine whether this entry qualifies as a feuilleton.

1 comment:

New York Crank said...

Actually, I'm an electronic frotteur. You rub my blog, I'll rub yours.