Wake: Up to Poetry
What Does This Mean for Writing?
This week at the Press, we’ve all been reading Alexandra Alter’s recent article in The Wall Street Journal on Penguin’s upcoming publication, Chopsticks, which is an enhanced e-book that combines literature with digital photo albums, video clips, and audio clips.
Towards the end of the article, Alter shares an interesting quote from the book’s author, Jessica Anthony, on “the future of narrative” in the digital age: “‘All of these digital narratives exist around us now,’ she says. ‘When you go to YouTube or iTunes, you have this complete integration of the narrative experience on our computer that we’ve never had before.'”
Through this collaboration of text and digital media in one place, it does seem as though authors like Anthony have confronted and tackled an issue that many authors seem to struggle with by providing a literary form to account for our experiences of the Digital Age. However, what does this advancement mean for the act of writing itself? Are we ready for a future where books simply in print form are not the norm?
It does seem like that future is far off. The article states that print copies of books have been selling much more than previous enhanced copies. We think this comes from the old fashioned want of solitude that reading provides. Reading is a form of escape from the everyday world and provides the reader with the unique chance to get away from the constant stream of e-mails or text messages that can take over our lives. When we sit down to read a book, we want to concentrate on the text and not have to click through video links to do so. It also makes us afraid for the inevitable ads that would probably accompany this technology in the future. This isn’t to say we aren’t willing to give these new e-books a try, but for now we will gladly take a print book any day.
-Elizabeth and Gigi