Monday, January 26, 2009

Novel Networks

Here are two recent articles about how the internet is transforming the discovery and marketing of novels.

From Time, “Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature.” A snippet:

We think of the novel as a transcendent, timeless thing, but it was shaped by the forces of money and technology just as much as by creative genius.

From The New York Times, “See the Web Site, Buy the Book.” A snippet:

The days of just holing up and writing in solitude are gone. Today, you can’t be a successful writer without having a little Barnum in your bones.

Speaking of solitude in our networked age, see: “The End of Solitude”:

we no longer live in the modernist city, and our great fear is not submersion by the mass but isolation from the herd …

A constant stream of mediated contact, virtual, notional, or simulated, keeps us wired in to the electronic hive—though contact, or at least two-way contact, seems increasingly beside the point. The goal now, it seems, is simply to become known, to turn oneself into a sort of miniature celebrity. … Visibility secures our self-esteem, becoming a substitute, twice removed, for genuine connection. Not long ago, it was easy to feel lonely. Now, it is impossible to be alone.