Literature was once classified as classical and each novel and book coud belong in the canon. At least this is my own interpretation when I think of ‘literature.’ However, as we now realize, literature has expanded to include the less knowledgeable types of work- comic books, teen sagas, and fan fiction- these at least seeming “less knowledgeable” to some. But who is the decider of what knowledge is limited too?
As Manoff suggests, what is being counted as knowledge is being called into question, allowing for expansion to of the tightly knit materials which once classified a piece of knowledge, or specifically, an archive. Manoff continues, noting that throughout time, it has become increasingly difficult to constitute what makes an archive an archive.
Archives are similar to how I viewed literature, using my own perspective to classify my own interpretation of what makes literature truly literature, because as Manoff explained, “Whatever the archive contains is already a reconstruction– a recording of history from a particular perspective…” In Halberstam’s interview, the same idea is reiterated: “Stupidity does not only function to blot out knowledge; it functions to produce knowledge in a different way.”
So from this, I’ve come to think that it’s all about context, and the control the context allows for. Like the Bush example: he was able to convey himself as a regular American, when in fact he was just controlling the knowledge by reconstructing his own perspective.