Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wholly Communion: Reassociation in Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" and the Bloggernacle

In my last post I discussed parallels between religious metaphors in "Cathedral" and the Bloggernacle. Now, after thinking about these parallels and reading a scholarly article, "Raymond Carver and Postmodern Humanism" by Arthur A. Brown, I've formulated a new thesis. Arthur argues that Carver's later stories, especially "Cathedral," "leave behind the themes of dissociation and alienation, which postmodern writers inherited from the modernists, and show that reassociation is possible" (126). I will explain how this is especially apparent in the religious metaphors in "Cathedral," which establish the act of communication as holy. Since similar metaphors are found in the name and structure of the Bloggernacle, I assert that just as "Cathedral" presents the possibility of reassociation in the typically isolated postmodern world, the Bloggernacle presents the possibility of reassociation in the allegedly isolated technological world. What do you think?


  1. This sounds good, though you might want to remind first time visitors to your blog just a bit more as to why you are exploring this (even though they could obviously follow your initial link).

    I guess I'm hungry to see the connections that you promise, and hoping that you will tie in the religious nature of the LDS community with the concept of communion inherent in the idea of a cathedral (not just in the title of the Carver story, though of course they are related). Your image in this post looks promising, but you don't connect it yet.

  2. This sounds like a really interesting comparison! It never occurred to me, but I think there's absolutely a big element of reassociation in the technological world, especially in the Bloggernacle. I think the primary reason people get involved in blogging is because they're looking for validation. There's definitely some religious parallels there. I'm excited to see where you go with this!

  3. I totally buy into the article you link about being hooked on gadgets...but I wonder if it's fair to say the "bloggernacle" somehow allows re-association in a technological world. Because the internet does that in the first place, right? I talk about this a little in my post about landscape as an analogy...

    The basic idea being that the premise of the "internet" was to connect, hence "inter" in the word. the internet conencted isolated banks of information, doing (I think) exactly what you suggest the bloggernacle is now doing. So, is the bloggernacle just a good example of what the internet already does in a larger sense?