Graphomania, according to the Czech
novelist Milan Kundera
, is the insatiable urge to impose one's self onto others
through a well established medium. Products of graphomania add nothing to the medium used, nor do they present any new ideas or insights: they are nothing more than empty self portraits. Graphomania is artistic exhibitionism
In The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
, Kundera describes graphomania:
|"Graphomania is not a desire to write letters, diaries, or family chronicles (to write for oneself or one's immediate family); it is a desire to
write books (to have a public of unknown readers)."|
Kundera suggests that graphomania stems from a form of loneliness and boredom that is unique to affluent post-industrial society. The necessary social conditions he describes are:
- A common abundance of free time leading to a general boredom in the population.
- A social emphasis on atomic independence leading to widespread isolation.
- A stagnant social environment leading to a sense of anomie.
The internet is chalked full of graphomania: online journals
, free webcams
, in short, the "page about me
The problem with graphomania is that it reinforces the social conditions that let it arise in the first place. A graphomaniac let free to follow the exhibitionist tendencies will find themselves more isolated, more bored and increasingly apathetic as time goes on.
My name is Joe; I am a graphomaniac.