Monday, December 21, 2009

How Things are Changing in Books

The Jacket Copy blog looks at the decade in reading and asks How Bad Is It?.

Among those answering part of the question are Susan Salter Renolds who in Cutting Through the Din of the Dotcome Age looks at the way fiction has evolved over the last ten years, and observes :
Writers write what they write, a path up and out of one generation's burden, one strangulating set of cultural norms into the future, regardless. But fiction, generally speaking, has been affected by this shrinking market, this smaller pie, largely in the last decade. It is more interactive, in very subtle ways. It tries to do more with less. Plot twists can be interpreted in many ways. Reality is layered, archaeological. Perspective shifts. The narrator is hardly ever reliable. Voices labor under the weight of excessive irony. Morality is more elusive as well. The poor reader searches for truth like a needle in a haystack.
and David Ulin who looks at how evolving technology has affected how we write and read :
What has changed is our sense of text as fixed, not fluid, as something solid to which we can return again and again. That's the influence of the Web, of course, where story has no end and no beginning, and readers are not passive but play a determining role. This is scary to a certain way of thinking, but I want to look in the opposite direction, to suggest that what is more compelling is how this opens up the possibilities.

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