Social Media and Modernist Authority: The Hauntology of Facebook
Keywords:modernism, authority, biography, social media, hauntology, intertextuality
Highly biographical Modernist author profiles on Facebook seem to adopt or encourage a purely biographical, Genius Cult-esque understanding of the relationship between an author and that author's work. This is initially problematic, as authorial intent is a particularly complex issue of consideration for many of the authors currently haunting Facebook. This article thus establishes the paradoxical view on author-ity of three such authors -- T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, and James Joyce -- and examines how such Facebook profiles undermine and simplify the arguments made by these authors both through their critical and creative works. It then suggests that, by mere nature of being present on Facebook, these profiles may indeed engage in teasing out the very same paradox that these Modernists proposed in the first place, using Derrida's Hauntology to examine Facebook as a textual space both of biography and self-prosthesis. The argument ultimately seeks to propose that all Facebook users are indeed just such spectres haunting digital spaces.
Ackroyd, P. 1984, T. S. Eliot, Hamish Hamilton, London.
Barbour, K., and Marshall, D. 2012, “The Academic Online: Constructing Persona Through the World Wide Web,” First Monday, vol. 17, no. 9, DOI: 10.5210/fm.v0i0.3969.
Barthes, R. 1977, Image – Music – Text, (tr.) S. Heath, Fontana, London.
Bazin, V. 2010, Marianne Moore and the Cultures of Modernity. Ashgate, Burlington, VT.
Benjamin, W. 1968, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in H. Arendt (ed.), Illuminations, (tr.) Harry Zohn, Schocken, New York, pp. 217-252.
Benjamin, W. 1974, “Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit,” in R. Tiedermann and H. Schweppenhäuser (eds.), Gessamelte Schriften, Vol. I, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, pp. 435-469.
Bollmer, G. D. 2013, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die: Cultural Anxieties About the Afterlife of Information,” The Information Society, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 142-151.
Borges, J. L. 1964, “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” (tr.) J. E. Irby, in Labyrinths: Selected Stories & Other Writings, (ed.) D. A. Yates and J. E. Irby, New Directions, New York, pp. 36-44.
Bowker, G. 2012, James Joyce: A New Biography, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.
Budgen, F. 1972, James Joyce and the Making of Ulysses, and Other Writings, Oxford UP, Oxford.
Chekhov, A. 1920, Letters of Anton Chekhov to his Family and Friends, (tr.) C. Garnett, Macmillan, New York.
Connor, S. 2012, James Joyce, 2nd ed., Northcote, Tavistock, UK.
Costello, B. 2012, “Marianne Moore and the Old Masters.” Genre, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 57-86, DOI: 10.1215/00166928- 1507038
Derrida, J. 1995, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression, (tr.) E. Prenowitz, U Chicago P, Chicago.
Derrida, J. 1994, Specters of Marx: The State of Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International, (tr.) P. Kamuf, Routledge, New York.
Ebert, H. 2014, “Profiles of the Dead: Mourning and Memorial on Facebook,” in C. M. Moreman and A. D. Lewis (eds.), Digital Death: Mortality and Beyond in an Online Age, Praeger, Santa Barbara, CA, pp. 23-42.
Eliot, T. S. 1921, The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism, Knopf, New York, pp. 87-94.
Eliot, T. S. 1948, Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, Faber, London.
Eliot, T. S. 1959, The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism, Faber, London.
Eliot, T. S. 1969, “The Waste Land: 1922,” in The Complete Poems & Plays, Faber, London, pp. 59-80.
Ellmann, R. 1982, James Joyce, Oxford UP, Oxford.
Finch, Z. 2018, “‘Passion for the Particular’: Marianne Moore, Henry James, Beatrix Potter, and the Refuge of Close Reading,” in E. Gregory and S. C. Hubbard (eds.), Twenty-First Century Marianne Moore, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2018, 221-235.
Gilbert, R. 2018, “‘These Things’: Moore’s Habits of Adduction,” in E. Gregory and S. C. Hubbard (eds.), Twenty-First Century Marianne Moore, Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 33-48.
Goldman, J. 2011, Modernism is the Literature of Celebrity, U Texas P, Austen.
Graham, C., Gibbs, M., and Aceti, L. 2013, “Introduction to the Special Issue on the Death, Afterlife, and Immortality of Bodies and Data,” The Information Society, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 133-141.
Gross, J. 1984, Nov. 7, “Books of the Times,” New York Times, p. C24, http://movies2.nytimes.com/books/97/04/06/reviews/ackroyd-eliot.html
Haraway, D. 1987, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s,” Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 1-42.
Harding, J. 2017, “Unravelling Eliot,” in J. Harding (ed.), The New Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot, Cambridge UP, Cambridge, pp. 1-25.
Hayles, N. K. 2005, My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts, U Chicago P, Chicago.
Hogan, B. & Quan-Haase, A. 2010, “Persistence and Change in Social Media,” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 309-315, DOI: 10.1177/0270467610380012.
Joyce, J. 1990, Ulysses, Vintage, New York.
Kamuf, P. 2005, “Deconstruction and Love,” in Book of Addresses, Stanford UP, Stanford, pp. 25-43.
Keller, L. 1991, “‘For Inferior Who is Free?’” Liberating the Woman Writer in Marianne Moore’s ‘Marriage,’” in J. Clayton and E. Rothstein (eds.), Influence and Intertextuality in Literary History, U Wisconsin P, Madison, WI, pp. 219-244.
Kirschenbaum, M. 2013, “The .txtual Condition.” In K. Hayles and J. Pressman (eds.), Comparative Textual Media: Transforming the Humanities in the Postprint Era, U Minnesota P, Minneapolis, pp. 53-70.
“Marianne Moore” (a), Facebook, retrieved 13 October 2018, https://www.facebook.com/marianne.moore.370
“Marianne Moore” (b), Facebook, retrieved 13 October 2018, https://www.facebook.com/marianne.moore.756
“Marianne Moore” (c), Facebook, retrieved 13 October 2018, https://www.facebook.com/marianne.moore.52
Moore, M. 1986, The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore, (ed.) P. C. Willis, Viking, New York.
Moore, M. 2016, “A Marriage,” in Observations: Poems, (ed.) L. Leavell, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York, pp. 75-83.
Moore, M. 2016, “An Octopus,” in Observations: Poems, (ed.) L. Leavell, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, New York, pp. 85-91.
Sielke, S. 1997, Fashioning the Female Subject: The Intertextual Networking of Dickenson, Moore, and Rich, U Michigan P, Ann Arbor, MI.
Stokes, P. 2015, “Deletion as Second Death: The Moral Status of Digital Remains,” Ethics and Information Technology, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 237-248.
“T.s. Eliot,” Facebook, retrieved 13 October 2018, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005161201288
“Thomas Stearns Eliot (T.s. Eliot),” Facebook, retrieved 13 October 2018, https://www.facebook.com/thomas.s.eliot.9
“Thomas Stearns Eliot (T.S. Eliot),” Facebook, retrieved 13 October 2018, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100016707608409
Turkle, S. 1999, “Looking Toward Cyberspace: Beyond Grounded Sociology,” Contemporary Sociology, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 643-648, DOI: 10.2307/2655534.
UBC Department of Theatre and Film 2019, The Seagull, University of British Columbia, retrieved 10 May 2019, http://archive.theatre.ubc.ca/seagull/subject.html
Wimsatt, W. K., and Beardsley, M. C. 1946, “The Intentional Fallacy,” Sewanee Review, vol. 54, no. 3, 468-488.