11 January 2009


It is a unique occurrence {as of late, at least} when I find myself unable to surface from an eloquent and elegant spill of words. More unique--and if my memory serves me correctly, never before come upon--is when that voice is of today and blinding me from the digital glow of the computer screen. 

Sophie Ward is the 23-year-old woman behind such incredible initiative. Paper Castle Press is the publishing company she has created to push new ideas forth in whatever form best fits its dialogue. 

Ward touches many realms of thought in her wanderings, yet what strikes me {so far} as particularly exact are her ideas on identity:

"Identities are spend-thrift in today’s culture. We devour and denounce identity, and our sense of self as rapid as the food we consume, the videos we watch, the paths we go down. With internet and digital media so prolific and easy to use, expression is everywhere, and possible everywhere. So, where is our voice? Where have all the deep, hearing and speaking voices gone?"

It took me a long time to begin blogging and even longer to join online social networks like Facebook. Still, I continue to question the legitimacy of so many isolated voices in a digital landscape not populated by any breathing, blood-filled being; so many people forcing their ideas and their bodies into a seemingly limitless realm, an odd boundless cloud, invisible and difficult to define. The possibility to reveal oneself in this space--the internet--has been around for such a length of time that it seems people have become comfortable entering into this bleak terrain. Many have their own blogs {recently, a majority show of students' hands in a communications course measuring those who have blogs left me floored}, yet I'm ever curious about whether or not the urgency of what they have to say deserves a special place in the current conversation. I  readily apply the same censorship to myself, oftentimes wondering if what I have to say is worth the space, however obscure internet space may seem. What cathartic purpose do explicit and oftentimes fiercely personal confessions and narratives have for the blogger? And where was this outlet before the internet provided unedited and uncensored immediate publication? 

"In the 21st century, identity seems to overthrow what we as people think, feel and experience. Why, one might ask, should I divulge that part of my human existence? Why speak louder from an internal place than act in defense of my external self? Because space is becoming available for what works for humans, as intelligent beings living on a great and now connected planet of continents and cultures, to shine through the lattices of those externally crumbling structures."

Elevated and dreamy, her writing is rooted in a deep philosophy which supports a painterly and poetic landscape with validity and meaning. I strive to create similar worlds, escapist and luminous, but founded upon strong ideals and infused with a passion for truthful dialogue about difficult  questions, oftentimes  unanswerable with one definitive statement. 

Sophie Ward's Blog is here.
Paper Castle Press is here

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