Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Third Time's a Charm: Digimodernism


Does the "third time's a charm" rule apply to literary research? I hope so. This is my third attempt at drawing valid conclusions about connections between Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" and new media technology. I'm now going to argue that Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" can be read as a digimodernist rather than postmodernist text. But wait, what is digimodernism? I'll explain that soon. First, let me explain how I got to this point:

After considering feedback from my classmates and professor, I've realized that my first and second arguments both depended on two faulty assumptions:
  1. Many believe that technology isolates people. I think this was mainly a straw man I created to have something to argue against. Although there may be cases when technology interferes with relationships, I think the general consensus is that technology connects people. As my classmate Neal pointed out in a comment on my last post, "the premise of the "internet" was to connect, hence "inter" in the word. The internet connected isolated banks of information, doing (I think) exactly what you suggest the bloggernacle is now doing." Basically, arguing that the Bloggernacle is a rare example of people connecting with technology that usually isolates people is wrong, which leads to my second false assumption:
  2. The Bloggernacle is a rare example of people connecting on the internet, or even of using religious concepts like a tabernacle to characterize their community. Today I explored other religious blogging communities and found similar patterns. For example, the Catholic Blogosphere is known as St. Blog's Parish, comparing the the online community to a real world congregation. There's also Church of Fools (source of image above), an online Christian community whose members can create avatars and enter a 3-D church to worship together. So, the Bloggernacle is not unique as a virtual religious place where people connect. If anything, it is representative of a widespread trend of online religious communities.
So now I am going in a different direction and discussing the theory of digimodernism and how it can provide a new reading of "Cathedral." Digimodnernism is basically a theory that explains the effects of new technologies and their impact on texts and the arts. My discussion will consist of the following:

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