Returning To Social Storytelling

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 13 2012 @ 6:06pm


Houman Barekat reviews Kathleen Fitzpatrick's Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy:

As Fitzpatrick observes, our understanding of authorship is, at the present time, caught between two regimes: one a system of knowledge production informed by Enlightenment-era notions of the self, the other is a world of "technologies that lend themselves to the distributed, the collective, the process-oriented, the anonymous, the remix." As we step into the future increasingly governed by the latter, we move, in some ways, back to an earlier era: a move away from a culture of isolated reading — the individual reader, alone with a book or a screen — towards a more communal engagement, the coffee-house or fireside model of public reading and debate in which literary culture historically originated. Long before print culture, storytelling was not a solitary experience but a group event. So 21st century man, for all the urgent, missionary zeal with which he clogs up his world with cold, impersonal technology, is still just being the same old social animal.

(Sculpture by Jonathan Callan via Colossal)