I think that an inevitable and necessary step for written culture over the next few decades is going to be the introduction of a détente between the visual and literary worlds — at the very least, an agreement to agree that they’re not mutually exclusive and that each feeds the other.The notion that literary experimentation ended with the publication of Finnegans Wake doesn’t leave much hope or inspiration for citizens on a digital planet a century later. Acknowledging the present and contemplating the future doesn’t mean discarding the past, and to be interested in print’s visual dimension isn’t the same as being anti-literary. People in the art world do a spit-take when they hear that James Joyce is called modern. The literary world has the aura of a vast museum filled with floral watercolours and alpine landscapes, a space where pickled sharks will never be contemplated or allowed. Ten-year-olds now discuss fonts, leading and flush-righting paragraphs.
Words are built of RGB pixels projected directly on to the retina for hours a day. Machines automatically translate spoken words into Japanese. Medium and message are melting into each other unlike ever before. Zulu Romeo Foxtrot.
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