New Media: Its Utility and Liability for Literature and for Life

Abstract (in English): 

Beginning with the title, a variation on Nietzsche's "Use and Abuse of History for Life," this paper offers a practice-based theory of how new media writing and traditional prose scholarship might converge. The essay itself will be in the form of a literary remix. Hence, the author's own sense of the affordances and constraints of new media will be conveyed primarily through the words of Nietzsche as well as selected works of critical writing in and about new media. One of the essay's themes is already evident in the essay's derivative form - namely, that the only way that literature can in fact "afford" to work in and around new media is to identify its enabling constraints, and to work through them with the self-consciousness and potential for collaborative thought that has always been present in prose fiction in print - but needn't be unique to that medium.



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Eric Dean Rasmussen