Literature And The Internet


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Literature And The Internet

  1. 1. Literature and the Internet Three factors that determine electronic texts to the experienced differently from the printed text. Searchability Links Accessibility
  2. 2. Accessibility • The internet is allowing us to be have greater access to information, especially in the realm of literature. • Readers are exposed to a greater number of literary works at the touch of a few letters on the keyboard and a click of the mouse. Not only that, the medium is changing, the text format is changed. • Writers are able to by-pass traditional printing avenues and move into an area of self-publication
  3. 3. Searchability • Hypertext is more searchable online. That is, it becomes easier to pinpoint desired avenues of research. • Within a single document you can find what you are looking for with greater ease and efficiency. This is the same for a website or the general information on the web. • Differs greatly from the public library, where the process is often time-consuming and not as readily available as with hypertext.
  4. 4. Links • A connecting of information and detail. Information becomes layered as connecting avenues are directed. • Related texts are instantly linked to the main idea, perhaps forming a better rounded argument or point of view. Enhancing meaning along the process. As opposed to the written text which does not have such instantaneous access. • Access to supplementary information is enabled with greater ease through the use of links.
  5. 5. Enhancement rather than revolution • Brown is arguing that the rise of the electronic text is more a ‘change of degree rather than in kind’. That is, the rise of the internet and the electronic text may not necessarily be a revolution but a ‘re-figuring’ of ways we interact and consume text. • What is changing is how we are receiving the information. Through greater access and searchability of an ever-widening range of literary texts we are still taking relatively traditional approaches to the study of literature.
  6. 6. Interdisciplinary approaches to literature ‘Already some internet sites make available the kinds of material necessary for interdisciplinary approaches to literature that could once be only laboriously and expensively assembled.’ • Efficiency has become integral to the proper functioning of the internet. And academics have been utilising this function in order to serve their research needs. With the ease and speed that the internet offers, research that would traditionally take years in libraries with physical books, only takes a comparatively shorter amount of time.
  7. 7. Non linear writing Some key points about the development of hypertext and internet research: • There is no one main text, no single point of reference when it comes to research on the internet. It is a series of interweaving ideas and information. • Hypertext is directed by links, text that leads from one source to another, no one path is ever the same. • Links form ‘multiple relations to one another rather than straight lines of fixed segments’, determining how the reader interprets the information.
  8. 8. Refiguring the Text • Hypertext is continuously updated and refreshed, Brown terming this occurrence as the internet ‘forever purging itself of it’s past’ • The internet and hypertext offers an extension to traditional modes of thought and research patterns. • Online ideas don’t exist alone, instead they can be ‘developed indefinitely’. • There is no beginning and no end.
  9. 9. The Reader as the User • As the process of how we gather information changes through the use of the internet, the reader’s role changes, rather than being the passive, we be come active users. • ‘ As the authority of the text diminishes, the power of the user increases’ • We create our own paths online. Brown stating, ‘ As the reader navigates hypertext,…he makes decisions about where to go…he creates his own text, not only accepting and rejecting, but shaping’
  10. 10. Refiguring the World • Differing ideas about national boundaries and global environments . • A form of cultural globalisation, modern day colonialism? The web is pre-dominantly populated with western-centric content. • It brings forth question about the commercial nature of the internet. Who has access. • But with the ease of supposed ‘self-publishing’ online, there is the opportunity for marginalised voices to be heard, given they can afford to connect to the web.
  11. 11. Suggested reading.