This is the 3rd and final post in a series looking at Raymond Carver's short story "Cathedral" in the context of digimodernism and the new media paradigm.
What happened to the Bloggernacle?
Many of my previous posts have dealt with connections and parallels between the Bloggernacle and "Cathedral," and yet I haven't said anything about the Bloggernacle in this series. This is because I think starting a research project is like entering a maze; you don't really know where you're going to end up. Along the way you may find some interesting paths or hit dead ends, but you don't really know you're at the finish until you get there. But the nice thing about research, and especially documenting your process, is that even those dead ends are not a waste. For example, I started out exploring Eric Raymond's "Cathedral and the Bazaar." Although I ended up changing directions, exploring Raymond's ideas still helped me have a better understanding of the new media paradigm and the importance of making research a social instead of isolated effort.
Next I explored the Bloggernacle. Again, I found tons of interesting ideas and was introduced to a whole community that I did not even know existed. And again, even though I did not include the Bloggernacle in my most recent series of posts, studying the Bloggernacle helped me arrive at my ideas about digimodernism. Researching the idea of communion and community in the Bloggernacle and "Cathedral" led me to Arthur Brown's article "Raymond Carver and Postmodern Humanism." After reading that article I started researching postmodernism, which led me to explore post-postmodernism, which ultimately led me to the topic of this last series of posts, digimodernism.
The great thing about documenting my trip through this maze is that hopefully others who may be interested in the same topics can now see the path of my ideas and be inspired to start their own trips through the research maze.
During this research maze journey I've been able to fulfill some specific learning outcomes for my English course:
Analysis and Use of Texts
- My research has led me to analyze a variety of texts, including scholarly articles, blog posts and comments, online articles, book reviews, news articles, and personal email. I have summarized, quoted, and analyzed many of these sources throughout my blog.
- I also used online databases like LION and Project Muse through BYU library to find traditional secondary sources. I read many articles to find useful ones like Arthur Brown's article "Raymond Carver and Postmodern Humanism."
- By posting my brainstorming and early theses to my blog, I was able to make my writing process public. This public process allowed me to get continuous feedback and give ideas to other students and scholars. My research summary above illustrates how publishing my process caused it to evolve over time.
- My posts about Narrative Transformation and New Media in Raymond Carver's Cathedral and A Digimodernist Reading of Raymond Carver's Cathedral are both examples of longer, more traditional literary analysis. In these posts I extensively quote the texts, secondary criticism, and theory to craft arguments about the form and content of "Cathedral."
- This blog is only one example of new communication tools I used to research. For example, I commented on articles on other websites in an attempt to engage others in my conversation. I also used the social bookmarking site Diigo to share and find articles about new media. I also used email, as I noted and linked to under outcome 1.
- Throughout this process I have engaged with literature outside of class. I have been reading more of Raymond Carver's work to gain a better understanding of his style and his themes. The research about post-postmodernism was also orignally something I was curious about, not necessarily for this class, although I ended up using the info I found. This outside research has helped me see the world in a different way and question my own engagement with texts and with other people.