Please contact mpub-help umich. Digital technologies have been changing the world of publishing in obvious ways and in not-so-obvious ways for the past several decades. Today, texts and other media can be copied, edited, remixed, and globally distributed again and again with relative ease. But clearly, the Internet has happened.
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Please contact mpub-help umich. Digital technologies have been changing the world of publishing in obvious ways and in not-so-obvious ways for the past several decades. Today, texts and other media can be copied, edited, remixed, and globally distributed again and again with relative ease.
But clearly, the Internet has happened. And the examples Goldsmith explores in Uncreative Writing seem to have either presaged or, having appeared more recently, taken full advantage of the techniques the web enables. According to Goldsmith, conventional literary practices have some catching up to do. Uncreative Writing presents several examples of ways in which that catching up might be accomplished. Goldsmith attempts to show that sampling, copying, and appropriation have been the norm in other artistic mediums for decades.
Taking full advantage of digital remix culture is one way the literary world is following suit. Remixing, reusing, repurposing, recopying, reframing, repeating, and regurgitating all become themes throughout Uncreative Writing.
These works also explore the creative consequences good and bad of appropriation and copyright. He discovers that even in re-enactment, a creative dimension emerges. This information is its own kind of language, with its own systems of encoding and decoding. It can be handled as mere storage, or it can be manipulated in surprising ways. What do the results of this odd manipulation imply? Does the manipulation mean anything? We are at the mercy of all this accumulating language; its mass exerts an undeniable pull on the way we live, work, and create.
These possibilities for transformation introduce a threatening? What we see one way can be so easily morphed into something different by anyone with any inclination. Are we—as writers, publishers, and educators—comfortable with these possibilities? The idea of built-in delegation implies a clear distinction between concept and method. It is as if by merely combining an idea, the right technology, and any ability at all, something interesting is bound to happen.
The work of these visual artists and their unique approaches to creation are laid out as precursors to the kinds of digital methods that so interest Goldsmith today. Goldsmith ponders. Three chapters address the growing tendencies of authors to take the most mundane details from daily life and turn them into poetry. Here the work of Vanessa Place, an attorney who transforms her case files into poetry, is juxtaposed with a s collection of versified court testimonies.
This early twentieth-century work serves as a road map for the kinds of appropriation that continue today, facilitated so neatly by digital media. Moving beyond these computer-aided collections of data, Goldsmith transitions on to the idea of computer-authored works.
Many of his examples here focus on the machine rather than the human. One implication of this style of text consumption is that our creative and composition habits may be leaning this way as well: copying, pasting, finding-and-replacing. Here we no longer have monkeys at typewriters, but bots and spiders, clicking away to produce the next Shakespeare.
Uncreative Writing is newly published by Columbia University Press, and sadly its composition at times seems careless and its presentation full of distracting typographical errors. A more carefully proofread second edition would be very welcome. Overall, Goldsmith balances the new with the old very well, reminding us that changes in how we manage words are inevitable and not to be feared: the ecologies of art and literature have been evolving for generations. Certainly his examples succeed in opening up and making transparent the notions of textuality that we take for granted.
While many of our current approaches go without saying, Goldsmith invites us to start talking about them and taking them more seriously.
Shelves: nonfiction , critical-theory , guides-self-help , aesthetics-art-theory-criticism , creativity-imagination Two words in response to this text: NO DUH! This text is way behind the times. After Barthes killed the already long-dead author, after Borges swarmed aspiring academics and writers in an labyrinthine sea of infinite information, after Duchamp turned art into readymades and then Levine appropriated those readymades, blah, blah, blah Enough already! I get it. Maybe the author is just living his practice of writing without aspiring for originality, by writing about a topic that is completely unoriginal? When Goldsmith announces "the future of literature will be Goldsmith proposes that the literature of the digital age should not really be written to be read, but rather not read, just thought about.
Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age
Even our brains might be wired for the necessary forgettings of creativity. How I make my way through the thicket of information — how I manage it, how I parse it, how I organize and distribute it — is what distinguishes my writing from yours. He samples a beautiful concept that broadens our definition of genius : Literary critic Marjorie Perloff has recently begun using the term unoriginal genius to describe this tendency emerging in literature. Her idea is that, because of changes brought on by technology and the Internet, our notion of genius — a romantic isolated figure — is outdated.