Culture Essay In Literature One Science
The sales figures may be difficult to argue with, but for many this is more cause for worry than celebration. ” Lee Siegel declares that “fiction has become a museum-piece genre,” that readers wanting to be challenged and illuminated had better turn to nonfiction.
In his most recent interview in claims that the recent efflorescence so extolled by Mullan is little more than “prep-school boys showing off.” A kind of shadowy consensus has grown among certain critics and academics that something has gone drastically wrong in the world of literature, that far from healthy, the literary animal is in fact dead or on death’s door. The tendency among these critics is to gloss the communications revolution and blame the practitioners, to think the problem is primarily one of of literature, that the old forms are simply no longer capable of reliably producing literary effects?
We are presently witnessing what is already the most profound transformation of human communication in history (short of the written word, The internet, the smartphone, the tablet, satellite and cable on-demand television, market segmentation, algorithmic marketing: the list of game-changers goes on and on.
Make no mistake, we are talking about social and semantic habitat destruction without compare.
If an otherwise trusted friend tells us something we think outlandish, we change the topic to avoid arguing at the dinner table.Assuming that this account applies to the whole English speaking world as much as Britain, you might say that the literary animal is flourishing.Somehow, the implication seems to be, the ongoing communication revolution has all but passed literature over, allowing an old institution, the university, to bring about a happy revolution all its own.Literature, you could say, is the kind of narrative message that of the happy picture offered by Mullan.In Mullan’s account, literary fiction has evolved into what could only be called a spectacular ingroup exercise: thousands of university trained writers writing for millions of university trained readers. Writing, he feared, would lead people to abandon their memory, to trust in “external characters which are no part of themselves.” Now we find ourselves living through a new revolution in information technology, one with consequences every bit as dramatic and likely even more profound. Our old ways of communicating are either becoming obsolete or finding themselves dramatically ‘repurposed’ before our very eyes. Literature is one of those categories that have vexed the human intellect for centuries.Typically we think of the classics – Shakespeare, Melville, Joyce, and so on – when we think of literature. And indeed when you look at the output of contemporary literary authors you find no shortage of family resemblances: lyricism of prose, thematic sophistication, quotidian subject matters, and of course the all important yen for experimentation.Before the advent of writing, senders and receivers always had to communicate face to face.Writing more or less banished time from the equation, and minimized the importance of geography to a certain degree.Everyone has their own diagnosis: for Siegel it is the professionalization of what should be a vocation; for Josipovici it is a failure of nerve and imagination in the face of market temptation. In order to be stable, communication must mutually benefit both the sender and the receiver, otherwise the incentive to communicate evaporates.But for most all of them, the problem is that literature, despite all the ways it what it once did. Receivers typically assess the value of any communication through what is called trust calibration, where we evaluate the motives of the sender, and coherence checking, where we evaluate the ‘fit’ between the message and our background beliefs.