How the Information Revolution Will Change the Novel
Literature is a reflection of life, situated in the present culture but reflecting its universal values. How will the information age be brought to bear on writers and their works?
What's the Latest Development?
From academia to the novelist's desk, the information revolution is changing the way we write, says Wheaton College's Alan Jacobs. The English professor gives Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story as an example of a modern tale that is primarily about information and how navigating its ever-rising waters changes what it means to lead a human life. And just as academic research requires rigorous research and fact-checking, fiction is becoming more influenced by the availability of vast stores of information that lie just a mouse-click away.
What's the Big Idea?
In the 19th century, Walter Benjamin noted that if the novel is to remain relevant, it must keep up with information, a form he considered to be larger than fiction itself. Toward this end, Benjamin recommended that novelists break the boundaries separating fact, fiction, memoir and essay. Given today's information excess, novelists risk being seduced by factual information, rather than knowledge gained through experience. Jacobs sees the new role of the fiction writer to be a "resourceful, imaginative and surprising filter for the daily whirl and swirl of information."
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- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
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