I’m parked at a gate in Calgary International Airport, waiting for the lounge to clear and for my flight to Toronto.
Outside the sunny shines deceptively — it looks like a glorious day — but it is freeeeezing outside with a wind chill close to -30°C . . .
In the past week I’ve received 4 remarkable emails from readers of MII — and the week before that, another 2 . . . . It really strikes me that my own experience of imaginary illness touches upon many others’ experiences. I am beginning to think that I will write an article about the feedback that I’ve received from both health practitioners and, from patients and families. Composing an essay will force me to re-examine what I have written in the book AND to confront other individuals’ revelations and insights. I am convinced that these missives (sent through the virtual ether) contain lessons.
Writing and publishing in the age of the internet and email means that an author like me can receive comments with extraordinary speed. I benefit from the fact that technology encourages an immediacy of response from readers that has never really been previously possible in the age of text. (Facebook and Twitter are also key but, I have yet to really master them — an unfortunate result of my advancing middle age!) Consequently, authors now write and publish in era in which conversations with their audiences are much more likely and possible. Of course the book leads a separate existence — in high school this was made most evident when I was taught to write about a text as though it lives in the present even if its creator lived 3,000 years ago — but the book, through internet connections, now also can act as a more active liaison between people. Substantively, nothing changes within the pages of a tome (the phrases and themes remain) but the technology of blackberries, iphones, laptops, ipads, etc influences the substantive conversations emerging from texts. . . and so Marshall McLuhan’s premise that the’ medium is the message’ finds traction once more.
And for those of you who find this web site and these postings, please feel free to comment!