Tuesday, December 21, 2010

From William Gibson's blog

During the doldrums of the day job, I realized that it has been quite a while since I have visited William Gibson's blog.  Lucky for me, his last entry was from April 16th of this year.  Apparently I haven't missed much.
Yet said April blog entry was really very interesting to me as a writer.  In the post, Gibson quotes an article on David Simon from New York Magazine:

" "Fuck the exposition," he says gleefully, as we go back into the bar. "Just *be*. The exposition can come later." He describes a theory of television narrative. "If I can make you curious enough, there's this thing called Google. If you're curious about the New Orleans Indians, or 'second-line' musicians--you can look it up." The Internet, he suggests, can provide its own creative freedom, releasing writers from having to overexplain, allowing history to light the charaqcters [sic] from within."

This is quite the proposition.  The Internet as metatext?  Writing will now exist within the digital soup, free of labored explanation as one text ultimately links to all others?  Fascinating.
Yet I'm not sure I entirely agree with its viability.  I'm not certain that most readers would stop reading and Google or even click a provided link to check something.  That is, after all, just one more step to have to take in this world of instant gratification.  Plus, with every link you give there is no guarantee that the reader will come back to your text.  They will "navigate away from you" as web techs say.  

This is not to say that this form of writing isn't going to happen anyway.  Don DeLiLo was quoted on the future of the novel, saying that narratives of the near future will be customizable by the reader.  Ultimately, I think that might work out with more favorable results than just hoping the reader Googles.
Just my opinion.

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