Last night my friend Claire launched her English-language blog – Scribblings.
Now Claire being Claire, I guess her new blog (she already runs one in Italian) has been meticulously planned, insightfully designed and thoroughly tested, the pros and cons carefully evaluated.
I point this out not to make fun of Claire (who, apart from being a fine writer and a dear friend, is also one of my gorgeous but unflinching editors); I’m pointing it out to explain that I think Claire started working on her new blog well before the summer, early in 2013.
Which is more or less when Karavansara was launched (with far less planning and thought, admittedly), and when a lot of other Italian bloggers I know started looking at the outer world – some opening a new weblog, others simply starting to post in English on their old platform, some alternating posts in Italian and English on their blogs, others posting bilingual content, experimentally.
This digital opening of a new front has something to do, I think, with perception.
We, as bloggers, perceive the English-language blogsphere as a somewhat wider, friendlier space than our little Italian-language fishbowl, which we perceive as increasingly suffocating and filled with a growing number of aggressive piranhas.
But the perception of blogging, too, as an activity with a dignity and a weight, is probably different – or that’s what we think, we hope, what we are actively seeking.
We are not “immigrants” – because we probably feel at home here (whatever that “here” may be).
And it’s not the money – even if avidity has been thrown at us often, as an “explanation” for our decision*.
But it’s not the money.
It’s an attempted escape.
We sawed the bars, we tied our sheets together, we are trying to outrun the mastiffs.
The inmates in the Old C Block of the Italian blogsphere are trying to escape.
* The idea that you start posting or publishing in English and fat packs of banknotes start landing on your doorstep is both romantic and provincial, and explains – I think -part of our sense of suffocation.