The Influence of Technology on Literature
This essay will discuss the way new technologies have influenced some of the areas of literature. Whilst the writer of this essay acknowledges the development of cyber books for their pure entertainment value, this essay will focus on the influence of new technology in the practical advances in the literature and associated industries. This includes the influences that new technology has had on the entertainment aspect, the educational aspect, the industry aspect and the employment aspect. This essay will discuss the influence that new technologies and new uses for old technologies have had on some aspects of literature and the producers and consumers of books. This includes authors, publishers and of course the reader. The purpose of this article is to convince the reader that new technologies have a place in literature and that through an adoption rather than a fear of these technologies both authors, publishers and readers can benefit.
The first issue to be considered is the influence and implications of new technologies on authors. For example, voice activated software. Voice activated software and writing materials are not a new technology. However, particularly in the literature industry it would appear that its full use is only just being recognised. Howell (2004) interviewed someone who he claims is a noted and famous author and reports of the nerve damage incurred in his elbow after years of typing at a typewriter and then computer whilst writing books. Unfortunately, being self-employed, workers compensation didn’t ‘kick in’ for this author and he was forced to think outside the box to find an alternative to continue his career. This author adapted voice activated software and now finds that through being able to speak rather than type he is less inhibited and the characters he is portraying through his writing take on a new dimension as a result of his using a different media to write (Howell, 2004). One of the noted limitations of this ‘new technology’ is its seemed ability to mishear or misinterpret the voice activation. The author must remember that even though utilising new technologies, they must still ensure they perform editing and drafting.
One of the major topics of ‘new technology’ seen emerging in the literature industry is that of the E-Book. The E-Book’s purpose is eventually to outsell and make obsolete the written book. Hirsh (2003) makes the argument that the paperback book will never become extinct. He argues that those readers who read as a hobby enjoy the physical aspects of the book such as the weight, feel and experience of reading a book. He also argues that that experience would be diminished were they to sit in front of their palm pilot or computer screen to experience the book (Hirsh, 2003). One author (Staley, 2003) argues that new technology, far from removing the book from existence, more so creates a new and more efficient method of distributing and...