A longish ramble from a journal entry dated July 26/05
I had been wanting to use a quotation from the preface to Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul but completion of the book and careful re-reading of the sentence have led me to problematize what he endorses in such heart felt fashion. I am quoting from memory. “Metamorphosis requires our artful participation.” It is the possessive pronoun “our” that makes it unravel for me. I was quite willing to entertain an analogy between multimedia and metamorphosis — at least of a psychological variety. “Artful participation” seemed a roomy concept able to accommodate modes of physical interaction and cognitive processing — in the manner of a constructivist intentionality. The passive [sic] pronoun tripped me up but alerted me to the vital question of whose metamorphosis. There is a thematics of ownership coupled to this celebration of agency. In very lively ways quite beyond copyright or intellectual property regimes issues of ownership crop up in the context of agency. A peculiar perhaps notion of ownership becomes accessible to theorizing. That which is owned is that which is in my control for a while. Aside: my copy of Edmund Gosse’s Aspects and Impressions is printed in such a fashion that the individual essays may be excised. That is they may be removed without affecting the integrity of the remaining essays because the printing does not have the next essay beginning on the verso page of the previous. The age of photocopiers has introduced a different book design practice. Who cares if a piece from before or after gets caught in a reproduction?
I like that turn of phrase “completion of the book” for reading end to end. And very much, the telling substitution of “passive” for “possessive”. And the aside brings home the point about reproduction and acquisition in an oblique meditation on white space.
And so for day 124