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Lecutre One: Sept 12.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Adam Hammond

ENG287 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 engaged - 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 Key Takeaways: - The question of attention - The question
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