Friday, August 31, 2012

Technology Depends on Writers and Writers Depend on Technology

Where would creative writer’s be today without the technologies they so desperately depend on? In the section titled Writing as Technology, taken from Jay David Bolter’s Writing Space: Computer, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print, Technology is described in several different ways. I would like to focus on the technology of the physical tools used to write and their evolution over time.
With the evolution and development of new types of paper (from clay tablets to rolls of papyrus; rolls of papyrus to books of parchment; and parchment to paper) and writing implements used to put writing on these various canvases, there has also come many changes in the physical act of writing. However it is important to remember that, “No technology, not even the apparently autonomous computer, can ever function as a writing space in the absence of human writers and readers.” (pg. 17).
One of the things that the continuous development of new writing technologies has changed is the magnitude of the audience of a piece of writing. I Tweeted an interesting idea that struck me while reading this section, and that was that without the invention of the printing press, the word “Bestseller” would probably not be applied to a piece of writing. If a creative writer’s novel was not printed and duplicated by a printing press, then only one person at a time would be able to read it.
The ambitious author could go through the tedious act of writing or typing several copies, but this would take an incredible amount of time and perhaps only double or triple the number of their audience.  Without a printing press to continuously mass produce your book, you’re writing (assuming it was well liked enough by a reader to pass their copy along) might not even make it to the neighboring state.

Carrie Watson

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