The modality of contemporary narratives in the digital era

I share another presentation I did in the 20th International Congress of Aesthetics, Seoul National University, on 27th july 2016.
This study concern the act of writing via digital devices such as smartphone or social networking platform such as blogs. I focus on its objectives and utilities or positive impacts on the contemporary society.

If you are interested in the topic and in discussing further more, please contact me (garcone_mk atmark I will be happy to make collaborative projects or possible experimental works.

The modality of contemporary narratives in the digital era

Narratives written not only by artists but also by amateurs have never been so easy to carry out, exhibit and share. Individual engagement in writing personal narratives has become a mundane, commonplace undertaking. We have a vast array of means available to realize our intimate storytelling, including traditional and modern medias and advanced technologies: keeping a diary or a blog, writing a novel (either traditionally or for Twitter or Smartphones), making notes on Facebook then sharing them with “friends”, “tweeting” frequently via Twitter, creating a visual novel, and so on.

Despite this ease of access to platforms and the disposition of media, authors have no chance of becoming a celebrated author. In our highly information-oriented society, it is extremely difficult for individuals to manage to have their writing read by numerous readers. That is why today ordinary people engage in excessively intimate writing (about family situations, love, illness or mental affliction, etc.) without causing a scandal, making a strong impact nor even embarrassing others. Determined confessions are viewed with indifference by others. All that these ordinary “authors” can expect to gain through their personal, self-centered writings is a kind of auto-therapy or satisfaction for their human narcissistic desire.

In this study, we also observe an important current trend in narrative structure. As Hiroki Azuma mentioned in his book, The birth of realism like games (2007), contemporary literature has been gravely influenced by video games or online games and shares several characteristics: emphasizing characters’ presence, recycling repeatedly stereotypical scenarios, combining fragmented scenes. The novels have been written similarly to games, adopting their dramaturgy and staging. In other words, the changes undergoing modern writing concern not only ordinary, individual people but also the literature domain. The influences are complementary to each other; literary works and digital writing.

Through my presentation, I will construct a new aesthetic theory of contemporary narratives in the digital era, referring to what we observe on the Internet through different realizations via new media in order to understand the utility and the signification of the act of writing.

Keywords: digital, writing, blogs, social media, character, twitter novel, keitai culture, narrative.

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