Revisiting Manovich and “The Database” in “We Feel Fine.”

Originally, I was scrambling to try and find something new to research for this final paper but then I realized there were many rich pieces of work and topics of discussion which we were really only able to “gloss over” in the short we’ve had in this course. The one topic, in particular which I would like to revisit and make the topic of my paper research is the function of the database in the “post-print” world. I’ll be focusing my paper on We Feel Fine. and use class readings and other research on databases to help support my claims. After a closer re-reading of Manovich’s “The Database” a few statements of his really jumped out at me which I’d like to use to frame my discussion.

The first is what Manovich describes as the “anti-narrative logic of the web.” (“The Database” 4) When we think of the use of functionality of the web, particularly how people navigate it, I think we can see where Manovich is coming from. If writers, artist’s and creates are going to be increasingly turning to the internet to create, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many e-lit works are going to be forced to, in some ways, embrace the database genre.

Another statement I’d like to use to frame my paper is the comparison Manovich makes between databases and narratives. How narratives seek to link “seemingly unordered” items, while a database is interested in “representing the world as a list of items.” I’d like to isolate the intentions of both genres and then look to see how/where they meet.