Junot Díaz reflects on the novel.
Communicating with written words may be older than we can possibly imagine. Yet, despite the very modern world of digital communications, the power of communicating with written words is probably more widespread than ever before. Let’s just dip into the world of blogging, or more accurately put, let’s dip into the world of WordPress blogging. The quickest of web searches revealed that:
74.6 Million Sites Depend on WordPress
Yep, you read that right. 74,652,825 sites out there are depending on good ol’ WordPress. That’s one site per person in Turkey.
Around 50% of this figure (close to 37 million) is hosted on the free WordPress.com.
Or try this amazing fact:
6 New WordPress.com Posts Every Second
That’s right. Every second, close to 6 (the actual figure is 5.7) new posts are published on WordPress.com blogs. That averages out to 342 posts per minute. Just above 20,000 per day. And a grand total of 7.49 million annually.
If you are wondering what brought on this rash of discovery, it was me wanting to find a way of introducing a talk that was recently given by Junot Díaz. Wikipedia explains that:
Junot Díaz (born December 31, 1968) is a Dominican American writer, creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and fiction editor at Boston Review. He also serves on the board of advisers for Freedom University, a volunteer organization in Georgia that provides post-secondary instruction to undocumented immigrants. Central to Díaz’s work is the immigrant experience. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, in 2008. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.
Recently, the Big Think blog had an article by Díaz that I wanted to share with you dear readers of Learning from Dogs. For it struck me as a wonderful reminder of the power of writing and, especially, the power of writing fiction.
For reasons that I don’t understand the video in that Big Think piece is longer than the version that is on YouTube. So, watch the YouTube version coming up now, and if you want more then click the link just below that YouTube insertion.
Literature, explains Pulitzer-winning writer Junot Díaz, is the closest that we’ve come to telepathy. It’s through literature that we educate our souls by transporting ourselves into some other character’s mind. It builds empathy. It allows for new perspectives. It triggers provocation in all the best ways. Novels aren’t as popular a medium today as something like Twitter, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still hugely important.
The summary posted above was taken from the Big Think site, and if you go there you can read more, and watch the full 4-minute version of the video.
Finally, this coming Sunday is the 1st November, and November is the month for National Novel Writing Month. Whether or not you wonder if you have a full novel inside you, even if you have the slightest curiousity, pop over to the NaNoWriMo website and get involved!