Mar 2, 2009

The critical Eye in the Digital Cutlture

I’ve recently read an article by J. H. Miller: “Studies among the ruins”, and I was interested to know that this great author and thinker has become an advocate of the digital culture that has invaded our daily lives. In this article, Miller says that the digital culture hasn’t demolished literature, but that the internet and the mass media have given a new view of literature. In other words, this digital culture has not contributed to the end of Literature but the end of a classical view of literature. There’s this changing wind that formed a new wave of though and writing, the once thought of psychoanalysis or literature or love letters still exist but under another shape or form.
Henceforth, texts are being studied instead of works. The classical literary criticism of a text has been – to a certain extent - the study of the genre and its specificity and their purpose in the text. But today, things have changed: there’s been a major shift of roles. Instead of centring the texts under one view which is the “norm” for reading that text; the decentring of things has engaged people, all people, to reason, rationalize and question all texts and all ‘works’.
However, this new attitude created some controversies. The tolerance degree of decentring among readers is what would affect the new literary studies. However, it has always been the case. It‘s always been the reader who first affected the spread or not of a book. Books were either welcomed or challenged. Of course the many appraisals of books by reviewers change the view of most readers, and the radical changes that have come up under the light of the digital culture are not only challenged but also feared, first by the critics, who seem to see a threat in opening up to new dimension of critical thinking, and second by the masses of readers who wouldn’t digest this change, yet.
In this new world, under this new-fangled light of thought, things are to get controversial. The development of human thought and the onward movement of the human race are a curse and bliss. They open new doors but release the traditional and the old fashions. One may read a text or novel under the light of the traditional or one may take his/her readings farther into the digital word and come up with a new view; one may question the idea, the thought, the democracy, the politics and the norms of things in life.
The literature of our time has become a new colonizing agent, according to Miller. The studies among the ruins, somehow, have become a virtual reality. There are no more norms or orthodoxy in literature. The discourse of the new age fits every profile and every mind. The monopoly of reading was conquered by GLOBALIZATION. And thusly, all of our thought and writing goes around this one power that drenched the world from its senses into interactive insignificance.

1 comment:

  1. Nice. You will probably like Walter Benjamin's famous essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," which I will introduce soon on my blog (and later in class).