O'Reilly logo

A Companion to New Media Dynamics by Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, John Hartley

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 4

Literature and Culture in the Age of the New Media

Dynamics of Evolution and Change

Peter Swirski

In the age of blogs, tweets, and webinars; in the age of Wi-Fi, u-streams, and podcasts; in the age of cable, satellite, and pay-per-view HDTV; in the age of fiction factories, direct mail-order publishing, and multimedia-packaging, is old-time literary culture a thing of the past? Is the book itself, the paperbound, dog-eared, old-fashioned medium of artertainment, destined to go the way of the LP, the floppy disk, and Betamax? Or are there reasons to believe that the death of the old media in the age of the new is at least to some extent a self-serving myth cooked up by public-relations departments of multinational communication conglomerates?

The Book Culture

In 2001 the old (print) media reported on a Gallup poll that diagnosed what appeared to be a new trend: aliteracy. “I didn't finish one book,” reported an archetypal undergraduate who had, nonetheless, aced her English course: “I skimmed every second page” (Babiak 2001: A9; for background and analysis, see Swirski 2005). This willing suspension of belief in book reading was also diagnosed among educated professionals, including American teachers who in the same poll confessed to the same aliteracy rate as their students: 50 percent.

“The book is dead,” we have been hearing for decades, slain by the twin assassins of TV and Tinseltown flicks. Yet, as Publishers Weekly pointedly reported in 1974, a full one-third of ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required