Thursday, May 14, 2009

Technology and books: Is the novel too much for our technology-addled brains?

from the Chicago tribune:

The price of my relentless Internet use became clear the other day when I pulled a well-reviewed novel from a library shelf and all I could think was, “Man, this thing is heavy.”

I knew immediately that no matter how clever the book’s plot or delightful its wordplay, there was no way I would finish it. The part of my brain that once guzzled fiction by the hogshead has lost its thirst.

It’s a depressing realization for someone who majored in English and read the Russian masters for fun. I once prided myself on my ability to conquer the longest, densest text — I devoured the 500,000-plus words of “Les Miserables” during two months of subway commutes — but those days are over.

Too much surfing, scanning and tweeting has given me the attention span of a gnat on Red Bull. Today it’s all Google, no Gogol.

No comments: