Re: unusual language [postmodernism]

Bob King (kingbx@HAMLET.UNCG.EDU)
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 14:32:54 -0400

On Thu, 10 Oct 1996, Eric Crump wrote:
> How about this? Can we keep the idea of canon but strip it of its
> petrifying institutional power? Can we open the possibility of millions of
> canons, of canons that are fundamentally unstable, that are constructed
> idiosyncratically and shift continually? Canons that are only snapshots of
> knowledge, products of the moment but eternal processes of the intellect?

Yes! The staticity/solidity of institutions, etc. has become more
liquid, responsive and conversational overall, thanks mainly to electronic
media, I think. Interestingly, to me, this has not much to do with
ideology, but a lot to do with technology and changed material practices
of writing! Anyway, that's a curiosity I'm pretty interested in.

My guess is (going with chaos/complexity theory here) that a new order, a
new "canon," will emerge out of these conversations as sure as the
interversity emerged, NetTexts, Snapshots, emerged, etc. These could one
day be canonical forms if not texts, and maybe that's another way to
think about the shift now underway -- it's much more a transformation of
material practices and material meanings than it is a transformation of
content. Just a thought. My main point, if I may say such a thing or
know myself well enough to say it :) is that I think we can have our canon
and eat it too (and BTW, along these lines of defying truisms, one hand
clapping *does* make a sound -- try it!) :)