So, I'd be really interested to see what you and Derrida thought about these technologies we have been using and their roles as archives. First however, I was thinking as I was reading the beginning of Archive Fever about the role of word processing programs and archive. Derrida addresses this in terms of immensity of information available "electronic mail today, even more than the fax, is on the way to transforming the entire public and private space of humanity" (17). I agree. Not only do computers allow for an immense amount of data to be stored by one person, but also, as Derrida notes, what does the computer do to memory? Derrida discusses repression and suppression, and how that affects one's memory and is manifested in writing (I think this is only part of an immense and difficult discussion). But, then the computer affects that as Derrida asks: "And where should the moment of suppression or of repression be situated in these new models of recording and impression, or printing" (26). I think this question is an important one because I think for most of us, the computer is a place for zero inhibitions, even over-exhibition of our wildest ideas. There doesn't seem to be that permanence as exists with writing a page with very little repression or suppression, and it is automatically published (I mean published in the sense that it has a record as seen on our hard drives). It's accessible information that doesn't not warrant discretion. That, I think, in 50 years will have an immense impact on archives, which will lead to hyper-categorization.
This leads me to the question of authorship. I was thinking while reading this about the technologies that we have been using in class like Gephi and Juxta that take a corpus of literature and expose it in a different plane (or so it would seem through graphs, maps, trees, screen shots, whatever). I was wondering how these fit in with the archive. I mean, it's almost like two archives (one of numbers/commands and another of a story) are meeting and they create a new archive in the images which are created. Then I began to wonder who would be called the author, the writer of the corpus of literature, the writer of the software program, or the user who feeds in the literature? This Derrida addresses: "There is no no meta-archive. Yerushalmi's book, including its fictive monologue, henceforth belongs to the corpus of Freud (and of Moses, etc.), whose name it also carries. The fact that this corpus and this name also remains spectral is perhaps a general structure of every archive. By incorporating the knowledge deployed in reference to it, the archive augments itself, engrosses itself, it gains in auctoritas. But in the same stroke it loses the absolute and meta-texual authority it might claim to have" (68). So, I suppose content presupposes and determines form. I mean that say Bill runs An American Tragedy through Gephi and generates a graph. He keeps the graph in his wallet forever, treasuring his find. Bill becomes famous. TU gets his materials, which includes the graph. They archive his work with the tags "Bill Quinn, William Quinn, TU graduate, Theodore Dreiser, Clyde Griffiths, Modernity, Historical Fiction." Forevermore Bill Quinn will be associated with those things even though he might write neo-sensationalist Victorian adventure novels. Of course, I'm raising a point about categorization here, but I think that we are seeing a mashing of archives together, on a personal level that can be forever maintained on pc's which have great opportunity through program availability, that may not have been at play when Derrida was around.