Folsom: Looks like he is coming from an archival research perspective. Because of his extensive work with archives and his Whitman Archive creation, he focuses on the database as a new genre one that fights narrative and disrupts it (1574, 1576, and 1578). He further believes that Whitman is an example of the database genre (1575). According to Folsom, the database is an unrestricted unrefined view of all the information available with no narrative to organize its understanding. It seems as if the database becomes an umwelt of information all the information forming too many different narratives for one narrative to survive (1578). Folsom says that the database is rhisomorphous (1573)–that it connects and turns and patterns itself in ever increasing and decreasing similarities.

StallyBrass: Looks like he is coming from a historical and humanities perspective. Because of his research into Shakespeare and the Bible’s history, he has different view of database that contradicts Folsom’s position on it as a new genre. For StallyBrass, the database is an old genre (1582). During the Renaissance database was called commonplacing. Originality was considered an unacknoweledged repetitiveness. In this system, reading was a technology of codifying or databasing. Most interesting about StallyBrass’s position is the connection to copywrite and the fear of plagiarism. Database signifies a loss of intellectual control over scholarly information. That information is now widely accessable to the masses and no longer the domain of academic educators and researchers–which makes the power central to authority diffuse (1581). Ong”s Orality and Literacy connects to StallyBrass’s discussion of Shakespeare’s appropriation of “To be or not to be.” Ong discusses the epic writer in orality as derrivative (59). The oral tradition collected words and phrases and then reworked them to create a new story for a current audience. Orality was and is plagiaristic, but so is learning.  “Learning requires imitation and inspiration, which today are marginaliezed by a concept of originality that produces as its inevitable double the specter of plagiarism, a pecter rooted int the fear that we might have more to learn from others than from ourselves” (StallyBrass 1584).

Hayles: comes from a media design perspective. For her, database and narrative work together and are not confrontational (1603). She says that they dance in a symbiotic relationship–where database feeds narrative and narrative makes sense out of database. She argues that both database and narrative are essential elements in the human lifeworld–that both must exist (1607). Folsom replies positively to Hayles, stating that he will be using the dance metaphor in the future rather than Manovich’s fight metaphor (1608). This in essence brings us back to Stallybrass.  🙂