Social Media and Modernist Authority: The Hauntology of Facebook


  • Will Best University of Calgary, Canada



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.


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Author Biography

  • Will Best, University of Calgary, Canada

    Will Best is a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary and assistant to the editor-in-chief for Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy. His research focuses on Modernism, poststructuralism, media theory, and digital humanities.


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How to Cite

Social Media and Modernist Authority: The Hauntology of Facebook. (2020). Persona Studies, 6(1), 83-99.