jeff jarvis

The Product as Process: Implications of New-Media Publication

What follows is the text of a short talk I will give as part of a roundtable on Saturday, March 21 at the New Jersey College English Association Annual Conference, Jubilee Hall, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ at 2:30. The session is called "New Media and the Literary Artifact."

 

Rather than an extension of our old texts of granite, solid and unwavering, what we have gained, through new media, is a 'book of sand.' As in the Jorge Luis Borges story, it is now impossible to find the first or last page, or to return to a page one has found before. Or, at least, to be sure it is exactly the page we saw before. Text has lost its solidity, textual scholarship its underpinning. You may think I'm stretching the analogy, but think again—by the time you do, the world will be different. And text will be different, too.