September 12, 2012
Is Literature Dying in the Digital Age?
- Nicholas Carr article, Is Google Making Us Stupid?
- The idea that our brains are being rewired so we can no longer enjoy
literature the way we used to
- “We are not what we read, we are how we read” – Maryanne Wolf
The four “ages” of literature
- The oral age
- The chirographic or manuscript age
- The print age
- The digital age
- Long, complex, printed texts created the reader that is undistracted and
- Online, short, accessible texts created the reader that is always distracted,
incapable of deep reading and a passive reader.
- People are freaking out about the digital age, but people have been freaking
out in the same way since the invention of literature
- Same argument made with Socrates telling the story of the invention of the
alphabet – 370BC – Voice of Theuth
o Literature will be wise, not the people if everything is written down
o The invention of the television was a shift in 1970 away from books
- This is just a form of nostalgia – we should focus on the future
- The question of attention
- The question