It might be about the personal narrative and authenticity, but I’m feeling a little anxious back in the classroom. For all my Derrida and Artaud, I’m not as brain flexed in this new pseudo modernism.
One of the reasons I rolled my eyes as a grad student was because postmodernism made me want to vomit radios. It crushed the possibility of invention, voice, and intuition. The whole emphasis was the elusiveness of meaning and knowledge and all I wanted to do was make, explore, and wonder. What was the point: eye roll eye roll eye roll.
But I was good at the discourse of it…good at the shoulder shrugs it seemed to let happen.There was process process process, but it seemed like what was being made was always a conversation about what was left out.
Absences. Pauses. Silences.
What about what’s filling those spaces: thoughts, readers, wandering and meandering ideas.
And now we’re in the age of the audience: voting, liking, clicking.
What I want my students to know is that the essay here, the essay now, is akin to the hyperlink (for all it’s emphasis on hyper and linking). It is the individual clicking his/her mouse, inventing a route through knowledge and a frame of knowledge that is only their own and only that one time that matters. Can the essay mirror that?
It’s intense engagement. It’s intense authorship. It’s a one-time only. I cannot click through this and author that route the same way I did yesterday. If I tried, that page might have changed or I might see something new this time. This feels like the author is way more alive and vibrant than ever before. So that the essay, thinking, the author movement might look like this: