Tuesday, June 1, 2010
New Media Community in Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" and the Bloggernacle
This is the first in a series of posts presenting my conclusions about the connections between Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" and the Mormon blogosphere, known as the "Bloggernacle." This series of posts will evolve and expand over the coming days and weeks as I continue to present my conclusions and alter them based on your comments and suggestions.
"Cathedral" is the story of an isolated, ignorant man transformed through an encounter with his wife's blind friend, Robert. I argue that Robert, a master of communication, is able to free the narrator from his isolation and ignorance by introducing him to a new medium of communication. The narrative structure of the story reflects this transformation as the narrator's dialogue gradually shifts from interior to exterior, the transformation culminating in the very act of narrating. Although some warn that digital media will destroy people's ability to think and meaningfully connect to others, Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" illustrates that participating in new mediums of communication actually facilitates the creation of communities. The "Bloggernacle" is an excellent example of how the new media paradigm, rather than isolating society, is facilitating the creation of communities that otherwise could not exist.