Saturday, April 13, 2013

Final Thoughts on the Future of Books

With the end of our class nearing, I wanted to reflected on the perceptions of story-telling that we were asked to consider: traditional books, ebooks, videos, blogs, and other mediums for storing and sharing information. What I've realized is that these creations do not need to conquer each other (unless, maybe, you are sitting in a publisher's chair); I believe that they will maintain and grow in their own spheres, perhaps branching off into new subsets we have yet to imagine. It is up to the user to choose what type of storyworld they want to enter. Is it one that they can watch on a screen where the physical descriptions of characters are made clear by the casted actors? Is it the opinion of an unnamed man out in Nebraska writing about a garden design on blogger? Is is it the first page of a Dickens's story? I don't think it's important to define what is the best way of communication, it is just important to allow for multiple ways for stories to thrive. If the user values story-telling and have the privledged choice to picking how they view it, why does there need to be a conclusion on the value of an ebook versus print?

There doesn't. And as an aspiring writer, these considerations have made me more open-minded to the types of things I hope to make. So far, I have stuck to traditional short stories and poetry, but taking on a project that required me to learn a bit about filmmaking makes me more excited to collaborate with others in this medium. 

It seems that we are in a time of transition, a time where access to stories and creative collaboration is easier than ever. Instead of defining it, we should enjoy the newness and fullness of it all. Doing so may reveal parts of ourselves that we did not think could be touched. It is the same as teaching too much theory squashing the enjoyment of literature, too much theory could blind us to what is really happening with technological changes. As is written in Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami,

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine."

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