Arquivo para June 6th, 2024

Narration, digital culture and orality

06 Jun

Still in the section on Poverty and experience, quoting Walter Benjamin, Byung-Chul wrote: “We became poor. We abandoned all the pieces of human heritage one after another, many of them had to pawn a hundredth of their value to receive in exchange the small currency of the ‘current’. The economic crisis is at the door, behind it is a shadow of the next war” (Han, 2023, pg. 37-38, citing Poverty and Experience by Benjamin), it was the threshold of the 2nd. World War.

In which modernity sums up happiness, the author explains “happiness is not a one-off event (pg. 43), today “when everything throws us into a current frenzy, when we are in the middle of the storm of contingencies, we are unhappy” ( pg. 44), recalls Marcel Proust “In Search of Lost Time” who understood the “rescue of the past as the narrator’s task” (pg. 45) and modern life as “a muscular atrophy”.

Disagreeing with Heidegger to reaffirm its contextual importance (also for today): “Being and time is not a timeless analysis of human existence, but a reflection of the temporal crisis of modernity” (pg. 45), “the being-itself of Heidegger is prior to the narrative context of life produced later. Being-a-i assures itself before telling itself a coherent story regarding the world of interiority” (pg. 47) and this explains the book we previously posted here, Heidegger’s Heart.

After a speech on some pages about new media: Phono sapiens, selfies, Facebook, it is a fixation of the author even though he recognizes Benjamin before this, even though he says correctly: “they are aligned in a syndetic way, without any narrative nexus” (pg. 51), recognizes that “Human memory always makes choices. In this aspect, it differs from a database”, a fundamental technical precision, which some people sometimes confuse with data without information, information without knowledge.

It predates even the emergence of the Gutenberg press and belongs to oral culture: “autobiographical narration presupposes a subsequent reflection on what was experienced, a work of conscious remembrance” (pg. 53) while “the quality of the data is better as they contain less consciousness” (idem), but it is necessary to remember the semantic search, the linking of data (linked data) and the use of Artificial Intelligence for narration that makes possible a consciousness beyond the “libidinal conscious” (idem) without ethics or morals.

Without mentioning oral culture, but the excerpt reminds her: “if everything that was experienced is present without distance, that is, it is available, the memory reappears” (pg. 56) and adds: “a flawless reproduction of the experience does not is a narrative, but a report or record” (ibidem) and remembers that whoever wants to narrate or remember “needs to be able to forget or let a lot of things slip” (pg. 57) and cannot be talking about anything other than the written culture, as oral culture is capable of forgetting details but will always remember what is experienced and through it remember the essentials and remember tradition.

Remembering the masters of cultures, their teachings and experiences is nothing other than oral culture, written culture is a “database”, a memory without reflection.

Han, B.C. (2023) A crise da narração (The crisis of narration). Transl. Daniel Guilhermino. Brazil: Petrópolis, Vozes.