Friday, February 16, 2007

Meet the Bontas

Via negativa

Plummer's Hollow

For a moment you might be forgiven for thinking you have come across the Waltons de notre jour. There's:

* Marcia Bonta - author of nine books and hundreds of magazine articles on nature and natural history
* Bruce Bonta - Plummer's Hollow historian and coordinator of our deer hunting program
* Mark Bonta - grew up in Plummer's Hollow and put together the first edition of Bioplum, the
biological inventory of the property

* Steve Bonta - naturalist and amateur entomologist, currently living in Tyrone and working hard to
add new species to Bioplum
* Dave Bonta - poet, blogger and amateur photographer, currently staying in the Guest House in
Plummer's Hollow

Dave Bonta says in Dave's 9 Rules of Blogging:

2. Provide substantial original content now and then. That’s the only thing that keeps the endless conversation at the heart of the interactive web from devolving into empty, meaningless chatter.

Amen, Dave, but we don't all have your facility.


Came across the Bontas pretty much by chance, except that that is never true of surfing is it? You are almost always going in some sort of direction, which you can reflect in the contents of your website.


The name of this website intrigued me, and drew me to it. Then I read a bit and he used the word apophatic. This has not cropped up since I overheard, in the way the flaneur dreams of, the piece of a conversation (on the radio maybe), a raised voice, slightly frustrated: "...I said apophatic not cataphatic!" Two theologians in heated debate perhaps. I didn't know what either meant and the dictionary was unhelpful.

This was quite a few years ago now just before the the internet became commonly used. A character called Wolf (a jumping spider: to confuse the matter because there are also wolf spiders) who lives in a telephone box in the middle of the countryside popped into my mind. The first time we see Wolf, a man rushes into the telphone, ending up shouting down the phone "...apophatic NOT cataphatic..." slamming the receiver down, jumps into his car and drives off.

When weblogs came in it seemed the ideal vehicle for an ironic treatment of what people might write in weblogs. Hey guess what happened to me! So much of what we tell other people are repetitions of what we have heard. There are our deepest thoughts and feelings and our successes and failures, but something overheard is almost the via media of social intercourse, next to the joke.

Wiki: via negativa


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