Monday, September 11, 2006

Matches from Estonia

Estonian matchbox
It’s not every day that you get matches from Estonia – and this box has stunning strawberry-eating naïve art so I'm especially pleased! For readers fluent in Estonian (which I’m told is a bit like Finnish), this is the link on the box. The best part of the weekend was going to see the Sarah Watt movie Look Both Ways. I thought the device of using animated drawings and rapid flow still images to capture mental states and emotions worked really well. Also the soundtrack was excellent and not too intrusive.

There's an bit of Peter Ackroyd that's stuck in my mind, too. He writes about the emergence of a new subjectivity, a new narrative self in the Elizabethan era.: "the growth of literacy was leading to great extension of letters and diaries; writing itself inspired introspection and reflection." (p.374) This is a slightly different take on ideas about the cognitive effects of literacy which was successfully debunked by Brian Street (and earlier by Scribner and Cole). Ackroyd raises the question of whether texts shape people or people shape texts.

But Ackroyd's passage also reminded of Stone in "Will the Real Body Please Stand Up?". She shows how dress and increasing spatial privacy led to the construction of a more "inward" subject. A changing social context may then have led to new subjectivities traced in changing textual forms. So, this becomes significant when we look at new genres like emails and blogs and map this against contextual features like changing social networks and knowledge flows. If we're now witnessing the decoupling of the body and the subject, as Stone argues, how is this reflected in new genres? Is it here?


Joolz said...

Wow I love the soundtrack to that film.Maybe it will still be on next weekend.
Surely peole and text have a kind of push pull relationship on each other .. I go along with Fairclough here in terms of people and language which I thik has to be much the same thing?

Joolz said...

I think

I thik

Guy Merchant said...

Think you're right about the push-pull, but I suppose I was thinking how big shifts in writing technology and genres relate to/ create new subjectivities (eg particualt kinds of ID performance in blogging).