Thank goodness I wrote the abstract for the talk a while ago, because a lot has happened in the intervening months. Ever since meeting with Aaron and Ben to discuss the possibility of the talk while they were installing the show, I've been gathering links and quotes and examples in a Google doc, which has grown to an unwieldy eight pages. It's been a geeky pleasure to work through it and things I've written here on the blog to stitch together a talk that will - hopefully - introduce everyone in the audience to at least one new thing.
But the key question is always 'Where to start?'. And I think I found my opening thought on the plane to Auckland for Laneways, on the first page of Sarah Bakewell's book on the first modern essayist, Michael de Montaigne:
The twenty-first century is full of people who are full of themselves. A half-hour’s trawl through the online ocean of blogs, tweets, tubes, spaces, faces, pages, and pods brings up thousands of individuals fascinated by themselves; they diarize, and chat, and upload photographs of everything they do. Uninhibitedly extrovert, they also look inward as never before. Even as bloggers and networkers delve into their private experience, they communicate with their fellow humans in a shared festival of self.It would be lovely to see some of you on Saturday. I'll be the slightly nervous looking person up the front. Come say hello.