Thursday, April 17, 2008

Head in a Bucket?

Listening to science-fiction and cyberpunk writer Bruce Sterling on a webcast this morning talking about the ubiquity of connectivity. He also noted that reading a literary text as “immersive” was like putting a bucket over your head because it cuts off access to the grid. He makes no value judgment on such bucketing, at least it seems to me.

The idea of getting off the grid for a brief period of time is not new--there is a wonderful story about Edmund Wilson's parents buying him a baseball uniform when he was a boy, only to find him later that day sitting in the park under a tree, dressed in the uniform, reading a book--only that the grid is pervasive now. Too often readers complain that other pastimes compete for time with reading, but perhaps the problem is that sensation is more enjoyable that sensuousness. Watch Sterling by clicking here.

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