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January 14, 2011

I have been on Wikipedia today messing up articles. Well, correcting them. At first, I could not find the | on my computer. Perhaps this is because I got kicked out of Typing Class in 7th grade, or was it 8th, for talking too much. But as many of you probably know, if you want to put a link onto wikipedia, there are a few things to master. Like how to use the |. If anyone has any questions, I can probably not answer them.

I have been itching to figure out Wikipedia because the Anne Bradstreet article has been bugging me for years; in that smug wikipedia way, it claimed Anne had no idea her book was going to be published. This, despite the fact that we have a letter confirming her knowledge of the publication plan. Who cares? Well, I think modern readers should know that 17th century Anne was not some meek Puritan poetess. She wanted people to read her work. The reason we don’t know this is that Anne and her family tried to hide her tracks, saying she was too shy to want public exposure. This was smart, since if people thought she had overstepped her bounds as a woman — that she had literary (gasp) ambitions — she could face a trial or exile like Anne Hutchinson. But if readers swallow the humility story, then they will miss seeing how brilliant Anne’s stratagems were and how difficult it was to be a literary woman in the 17th century. If you read too much, or, even worse, wrote, you might drown yourself, Governor Winthrop told women. Look at Mrs S— who threw herself into a well because of her book addiction (my paraphrase).

At any rate, after many tries, I erased the wiki- falsehoods, but only after receiving red-flagged messages about my editing errors.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ruth permalink
    January 14, 2011 4:58 pm

    Brava! I have always wanted to correct, edit and revise a Wikipedia article.

  2. January 14, 2011 7:44 pm

    Ruth! do it. I will help you.

  3. Kirstin permalink
    January 16, 2011 12:44 pm

    Red flags be damned! They are waiting for people like you to edit. Just last night, I read the interview Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales gave with Time, and he said that in order to improve the accuracy and integrity of the info on the site, they need to diversify the contributor base. He said, “We’re very, very good on topics that are of interest to the late-20s, early 30s tech-geek male because that’s our core contributor group. We need more participation in topics outside that range.”

  4. February 8, 2011 11:50 am

    “If you read too much, or, even worse, wrote, you might drown yourself, Governor Winthrop told women.”

    Bravo. But alas the 17th century has returned, psychologically…with a vengeance.

    Never in history is so much available to so many…and they don’t want it…knowledge.

    Today…Governor Winthrop might as well be talking to…everybody.

  5. Dorothy Lamb Crawford permalink
    February 24, 2011 1:28 pm

    I am a writer and composer, who would love to meet you. In 1980 I composed a cantata, “Portrait of Anne Bradstreet,” which will be given first Boston performances April 2 and 3 2011 by Capella Clausura. I have enjoyed your book on A. B. In March, see for full concert info. Google Dorothy Lamb Crawford, A Windfall of Musicians for other information. This is my latest book, which won a 2010 ASCAP award for Biography in Music. Your blog is lively and fun to read!

  6. February 28, 2011 9:55 am

    I would like to come to this cantata, Dorothy. Will you be there?

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