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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Anxieties of Obsolescence and Transformation : Digital Technology in Contemporary Australian Literary Fiction
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'When addressing the rise of mass media, literary authors of the late twentieth century often expressed an ‘anxiety of obsolescence’ (Fitzpatrick 2006) in their work: an acute awareness of being potentially displaced. This often led them to adopt an attitude of defiance in the face of technological change.

'Many contemporary literary authors adopt a similar oppositional attitude towards the rise and encroachment of networked technology, but retreating to the increasingly peripheral territory of ‘pure’ print-based literature is no longer easy. Digital technology presents not only the possibility of displacement but also that of transformation, with its spread threatening to fundamentally alter the practice of reading and writing.

'Possibly in response to the radical upheavals faced by Australian literary culture due to the rise of electronic publishing since 2012, recent works by three established Australian authors – Amnesia by Peter Carey (2014), the Wisdom Tree novella sequence by Nick Earls (2016), and The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser (2017) – examine the ways in which networked technologies challenge or complicate the role, identity and practice of the contemporary print-oriented writer. The telling connection is that they present the relationship between print-based writers and networked technology as being transformative rather than simply oppositional, demonstrating the emergence of complex and nuanced responses to the rise of networked technology in Australian literature.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Website Series Peripheral Visions no. 57 October Deborah Hunn (editor), Ffion Murphy (editor), Catherine Noske (editor), Anne Surma (editor), 2019 18271319 2019 periodical issue

    'Official language smitheryed to sanction ignorance and preserve privilege is a suit of armor polished to shocking glitter, a husk from which the knight departed long ago. Yet there it is: dumb, predatory, sentimental. Exciting reverence in schoolchildren, providing shelter for despots, summoning false memories of stability, harmony among the public. (Morrison 1993)

    'These lines, drawn from novelist, essayist, and teacher Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel lecture, offer a vivid description of the kinds of rhetoric dominating our public, professional, and even our cultural spaces today, although the cracks are beginning to show, and we would be hard pressed to claim that ‘harmony’ prevails.' (Deborah Hunn, Ffion Murphy, Catherine Noske and Anne Surma, Introduction)

Last amended 14 Nov 2019 12:51:34 Anxieties of Obsolescence and Transformation : Digital Technology in Contemporary Australian Literary Fictionsmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series
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