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October 28, 2005

"non-monologic unity"

This would be Mikhail Bakhtin, and somehow I'm going to make it clear that interpreters make this happen. Google could only find one reference to this idea, in a paper on the possibilities/problems of cybercommunity/ies, Digital Waco.

Here's what Morson & Emerson say in their intellectual biography, Creation of a Prosaics:

"Lives are not works of fiction. Meetings full of promise do not always ripen into friendships, and ideas rich in potential sometimes lead nowhere. Important people and concerns enter our lives and thought early and late, for various lengths of time, and then depart, never to return. Although in retrospect we may trace causal lines between events and see direct linkages between thoughts, in doing so, we may misrepresent the connections between them. The work we do to make events cohere in a sequence is easily underestimated. Overlooking the role of contingent factors that need not have happened, we imagine only the outcome realized to the exclusion of others equally possible. ideas that seem to anticipate others might in fact have led in another direction, and apparent resemblances across time may testify to little more than characteristic habits of thought. Memory and biographies tend to be obsessive in excluding accident and insisting on patterns, but lives and intellectual careers, as Bakhtin maintained, are not. Rather, they are wasteful, producing not only diverse achievements, but also unrealized or only partially realized potential" (p. 3).

Posted by Steph at October 28, 2005 8:30 PM


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