Understanding Cosmo-Literature: The Extensions of New Media

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

The central objective of this paper is to provide a new conceptual theoretical framework starting from the role of new new media in shaping a new kind of literature, which I call Cosmo-Literature. Towards this, I start working from Levinson’s differentiation among old media, new media, and new new media to arrive at the difference among the variable types of media. Next, I address the role of new new media in establishing world democracies and changing the social, cultural, and political world map. After that, I investigate the terms of “global village” and “cosmopolitanism” in relation to literature. To clarify what I mean by Cosmo Literature, I will investigate two new new media novels: Only One Millimeter Away, an Arabic Facebook novel by the Moroccan novelist Abdel-Wahid Stitu, and Hearts, Keys and Puppetry an English Twitter novel by Neil Gaiman, to infer the characteristics of Cosmo literature in general and Cosmo narration in particular.
What I mean by Cosmo-literature is all forms of literature produced by the capabilities provided by new new media. These include digital works but also examples where the digital artifact is printed or presented in other media.
Cosmo literature is derived from the political, social, and cultural context that the whole world lives in nowadays. Appiah’s cosmopolitanism as “universality plus difference” is the most significant term to refer to the pluralistic and universal society of today. Respecting diversity, caring about each other, and kindness are the moral principle of the cosmopolitan society according to Appiah. My project builds on Appiah to argue that digital media facilitate the cultural co-existence of the peoples of the cosmopolitan society. As long as such a society has its own morals and identity, it is logical to have its own literature, which I believe to be Cosmo-Literature.
The investigation of two new new media novels: Only One Millimeter Away, an Arabic Facebook novel, and Hearts, Keys and Puppetry an English Twitter novel, has shown many features of Cosmo-Literature in its relation to cosmopolitanism. At the heart of these features are interactivity, multilingualism, multimediality, suspense, new literariness, blurring the boundaries between the real and the fictional, and creating new dimensions of time. Those features also play as the characteristic features of the group identity of the universal society of today.

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Hannah Ackermans