The Invention

In the end, everyone gets what they want but not necessarily what they expect.

Ghost Writ was motivated by curiosity, distrust, and suspicion:

  • Curiosity about the faux memoir as a trustworthy vehicle for a personal narrative centered on the “life of a mind;”

  • Distrust of claims about the value of transparency as a conscious communication tactic, strategy, and/or goal, especially in the realm of social media; and

  • Suspicion that the tension between being and seeming to be—b/w authenticity and verisimilitude—motivates, shapes, and grounds the public discourse that now constitutes our shared social, communal, corporate "reality."

"Despite—or perhaps because of—our technological sophistication and social connection, you’re still a self-contained, self-conscious being ultimately alone in the crowd. "Community" is a transient reality defined by verbal ingenuity, novel forms, abbreviated exchanges, instantaneous dissemination, and immediate reaction—a place of putative authority created by ghostly instigators addressing phantom audiences. Speech becomes action and action becomes artifice for a constituency of electrified apparitions recreating and re-enacting the rhetoric of digitized affectation. The inhabitants may aspire to authenticity, even sincerely claim to possess and exhibit it, but they never get beyond verisimilitude." (Ghost Writ, p. 204)

Mark Backman

@wryghost or this email.