Reading Matters: Narrative in the New Media Ecology
by : Joseph Tabbi
The convergence of twentieth-century narrative and technology is one of the most important developments in current literary study. A decade after the founding of the Society for Literature and Science and the appearance of such influential books as Kathleen Woodward's Culture of Information and William Paulson's The Noise of Culture, Joseph Tabbi and Michael Wutz have edited a landmark volume to summarize this still-emerging field. Twelve original essays and the editors' introductory overview show how these theoretical concerns can contribute to the practical study of narrative. Reading Matters covers the range of contemporary literature, from the canonical novels of high modernism and postmodernism through subjects new to the academic agenda, such as cyberpunk and hypertext fiction. In an age that has proclaimed the death of the novel many times over, the contributors argue persuasively for the continued vitality of literary narrative. By responding in ingenious ways to the capabilities of other media, they assert, the novel has enlarged and redefined its territory of representation and its range of techniques and play, while maintaining its viability in the new media assemblage.