Friday, November 19, 2010

Imaginary Authors?

I've been thinking about the emergence of "the author" in the 18C and wondering what might have been alternative developments to this course. A favorite author of mine, John Crowley, has been developing similar notions (in a very casual way) of a kind of shared consciousness between individuals. (Link here--Imaginary Individuals and here-- Teeming Temes and the Future of Totalitarianism.) Neil Stephenson's Snow Crash also deals with identities diffused through society. He thinks of religion and culture as memes, for him a kind of computer program, complete with viruses, that has been hardwired into humanity. An overly stable and isolated sense of self is certainly a fiction but a completely integrated consciousness, too, strikes me as rather incongruous with human experience.