Tolstoy's Dictaphone: Technology and the Muse (Graywolf Forum)

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9781555972486: Tolstoy's Dictaphone: Technology and the Muse (Graywolf Forum)

When the great Russian writer Tolstoy was first offered the use of a brand new invention called the Dictaphone, he refused it, saying that it was sure to be "too dreadfully exciting" and would distract him from his literary endeavors.

For this provocative launch of the Graywolf Forum series, Sven Birkerts invited a number of literary writers to tell him how they were reacting to the technological innovatios of our day. Do the "dreadful excitements" promised by a digital future cause us to forfeit our time-honored cultural traditions for dubious gain? Or will the electronic millennium usher in an unprecedented age of interconnectedness and opportunities for wider communication?

In the tradition of the Graywolf Annuals, this first Graywolf Forum presents a wide range of responses from contemporary creative writers.

Contributors:

Sven Birkerts
Harvey Blume
Daniel Mark Epstein
Jonathan Franzen
Thomas Frick
Alice Fulton
Albert Goldbarth
Carolyn Guyer
Gerald Howard
Wendy Lesser
Ralph Lombreglia
Carole Maso
Askold Melnyczuk
Robert Pinsky
Wulf Rehder
Lynne Sharon Schwartz
Tom Sleigh
Mark Slouka
Paul West

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

A collection of essays addressing the role of high technology in the literary arts that attempts to expand upon the dialogue initiated in The Gutenberg Elegies, Birkert's book published at the dawn of Internet mania. Among the essays in Tolstoy's Dictaphone, "Only Connect" by Lynne Sharon Schwartz considers our relationship with telephones, Daniel Mark Epstein writes about the charmingly archaic atmosphere of Baltimore's Peabody Library and Mark Slouga speaks of "the culture of distraction," arguing that electronic media are contributing to the loss of "the daily grinding of differences so necessary not only to the democratic process, but to individual growth."

About the Author:

Sven Birkerts (editor) is the author of The Gutenberg Elegies and lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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