My Thoughts on Some of Week 2’s Readings

I found that I connected well with Poster’s article regarding authorship and its significance in the digital age. I find it really interesting how it enlightened me, in terms of my reading style that I never really picked up on beforehand. Apparently, authorship is something I take very seriously when it comes to my leisure reading. I tend to read the author’s bibliography at the back of the book before I even glance at the first page. And I ask myself questions such as “what does this person have to say?”, “does it somehow relate to their personal lives?”, “why did they choose to write this story in the first place?”, etc. Poster mentions Foucault who believed that the function of the author will disappear as society changes, and in its place will be a new mode that will act in a similar function. Which brings up the question of “why will authorship disappear?” Is it because it is no longer seen as relevant to our information gathering? No one will ever know because Foucault didn’t specify his reasoning behind this notion. However, I believe that Poster’s statement rings true to the present – “How would the author function disappear, especially considering that it has adapted itself so well to the change from print to broadcast media?” The fact that I still pay attention to authorship is a good example of how authorship can still remain significant even in the presence of digital writing. I don’t believe that it can be completely lost.

Kirschenbaum’s introduction comes to a close second in terms of personal interest. It discusses a variety of external aids that writers use, whether it be pen and paper or a DOS-enabled computer. And brings up an interesting question, “Why does a literary history of word processing matter, and what should it be besides a compendium of authors and dates and programs or machines?” But it all links to materiality (which we have discussed a few times in class) and how technology plays a part in a writing’s interpretation, preservation, and documentation. And I believe that becoming familiar with the different kinds of word processors enables us to further understand digital textuality in terms of how each one affects our writing in different ways (for example, some allow us more flexibility than others).

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One thought on “My Thoughts on Some of Week 2’s Readings

  1. It’s interesting what you say at the end about differing degrees of flexiblity. Aimée Morrison in her essay talks about blogging software in terms of affordances and constraints. An affordance is an invitation, by an object or an environment to an organism or living thing, to do something. So a handle is a kind of invitation to pick up a cup. In the context of digital interfaces, they are components of the interface that invite action. There’s a rather nice discussion of affordances here with some examples of good and not so good interface elements, in terms of clarity of affordances:
    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/chapters/fog0000000060.html
    What do you think about his observations on metaphor in this context?

    Like

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