I struggled reading the Derrida essay. I don’t have a lot of theory under my belt quite yet but I started to think about how his idea of what goes in the archives is a lot like Guillory’s idea of the canon. What makes something so prominent that it gets put into a canon or even an archive? When I read the NPR article I thought about this idea of the canon in the ideas of archives. But also if something is not worthy of the archive then the item can be seized because it doesn’t archive the way the dominant group wants. Seems a little sketchy… But we’ve seen this done with history books already. Archives want to represent the dominant culture in their own way. How long before they begin seizing g our thoughts? This makes me think that there is a certain hierarchy that is set upon certain items as to whether or not they are placed with a n archive. There has to be. Certain items will have more of a significant place in the world than others. How does this come to be?
When I think of archive I think of old and in need of being preserved. Now that may not be too far off base. Items get placed in archives so that they are not forgotten but once the item has been placed in there we forget about it until we need it again. So is an archive somewhat paradoxical? We place items in there so we don’t have to remember them that this machine or gatekeeper can remember for us. The Mystic Pad can remember for us anything that we need to know. Computers are crazy and even crazier the Internet. Why do we need any documents physical anymore when most everything is within the digital space? That’s a question the Derrida raises while he is discussing Freud. We are so interconnected now, that anything we have said or accomplished probably has already been discussed or accomplished. This is another paradox of archives.
Who is to say what I have already accomplished hasn’t already been accomplished by someone else? So what is the point of archiving anything if someone else has already done it? But how do we get something archived if no one does anything? Who knew the word archive could be so complex. It’s something so familiar to us. Something we know and recognize but it has so many complexities to it. Not just the access we have to an archive but also we can access the archive. Defining archive seems pretty impossible to me too. When one thinks about an archive we think of a giant room with files and documents or an archival service online. But we have personal archives within ourselves that let us remember or access to memories. Do our physical archives work the same? Who gives access to what anymore?