"Without a sense of the big man who wrote the prose, all [Hemingway's] later work would be only skeletons of abstraction, the flesh gone. The Old Man and Sea is, for my opinion, a bad piece of work if one knows nothing about the author. Only when one feels, more or less subliminally, the face of Ernest on the body of a Cuban fisherman does the fraud of the tale take on its surrealist truth." (Norman Mailer, Advertisements for Myself)
The vodcasting team at the Copenhagen Business School recently asked me to make a video introducing myself to assistant professors, explaining what I can do for them through my seminars and workshops. I agreed to put my body to the cause and here's the result. I'm very interested to hear what readers of this blog think of it. Is this the person you've been imagining has been writing these blog posts? Does it make the writing more credible or less credible? Conversely, does the writing on this blog make the guy in this video more or less believable?
For those of you who are familiar with my approach, either through this blog, or by participating in my seminars and workshops: Is this a good advertisement for what I do? Does it leave the right impression? Will it repel people (like you) who you know would actually enjoy and benefit from my work? Will it attract people who won't then get what they thought they would get?
Obviously, if you know me personally, you'll recognize that I am here presenting a "persona", putting on a mask (as I also of course do when I run a seminar or facilitate a coaching session; I'm a professional after all), but I hope I don't reveal myself to be a complete fraud. Mailer once also said that "ego" is "that extraordinary state of the psyche which gives us authority to declare we are sure of ourselves when we are not." I certainly had to get into that state to make this video. I wonder if I pulled it off.
Note that this "authority" is also precisely what puts the "I" in your text, whether explicitly or implicitly, as an "author". You've got to have a healthy ego to write, a sense of yourself as an author. But since I mention Jonathan in this video (I cite this post), it's only fitting that we heed his warning too.
Anyway, though there's no need to be brutal (I don't need to have my illusions smashed), please be honest. As some of you know, I did once make videos of myself for this blog, but my vanity finally got the better of me and I had to stop. I like this guy (i.e., "Thomas Basbøll") enough to put him out there for your consideration, but I'm not entirely sure I want to commit myself to being him. What do you think?