Monthly Archives: May 2008
Don Quixote and The Narrative Self
Stefán Snævarr asks, are our identities created by narratives?
Once upon a time a philosopher wrote an article called â€˜Don Quixote and The Narrative Selfâ€™. He commenced by saying: In this essay, I will discuss the question of whether our selves are constituted by narratives, ie stories. Are we like Don Quixote, whose self was created by his reading of medieval romances: are we Homo quixotienses, the narrative self? Or are we rather like the protagonist of Sartreâ€™s novel Nausea, Antonin Roquentin, whose life did not form any narrative unity? Are we in other words rather Homo roquentinenses?
Click here to read the full article at the Philosophy Now website.
Blogs are comparable to the commonplace books that first began appearing among the literate in 15th century Europe. Today millions of bloggers keep their modern day commonplace books for many of the same reasons that 15th century Europeans kept theirs. Easily obtained, inexpensive paper made it possible for 15th century writers to begin recording their observations, notes, and favorite quotes into commonplace books. Today easy access to the broadband internet makes it possible to continue the commonplace tradition in digital form, compiling not only written documents, but documents created in many other types of digital media as well.
McCluhan’s “the medium is the message,” “global village,” and Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” become more relevant with each passing decade. Six centuries after the appearance of the first commonplace books, millions continue the tradition of recording in the paperless, digital blogosphere thoughts, essays, favorite quotations, and miscellaneous observations on art, music, culture, politics, and life in general. But unlike the paper commonplace book, with the internet-based “commonplace book” or blog, we can instantly read each other and leave behind our comments and reactions.
Copy of a Letter Lately Written in Meter, by a Young Gentlewoman: to Her Unconstant Lover. With an Admonition to All Young Gentlewomen, and to All Other Maids in General to Beware of Men’s Flattery. — , [title for a book of poems]