'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)