Over the past couple of days I have been thinking about what the changes in technology will mean for the publishing industry. The kindle, ipad and other electronic readers have brought readers into the world of literature who would not usually sit down and read a book. The ease in convenience promoted by the gadgets has meant that any one can read pretty much anywhere. The pain of a heavy backpack filled to the brim, with 7 – 8 books being juggled and read before the end of the year has passed and the e – readers have made it easy to gracefully carry around hundreds of books.
In addition the control and rights writers have over their works is now sliding in favour of the writer. Th e – reader has reduced the constraints and laws regarding the lengths of works. No longer is the thickness of a book a very important issue. Also the steps forward in technology and the popularity of the internet has made it very easy to self publish and achieve the same results as a big publishing house. The internet has ultimately made the world smaller and by uploading works online with simple clicks of the mouse, writers are able to generate interest and feedback from their works almost instantly. All these changes have meant that the novel and many other literary works have become fluid in terms of their form.
The lessening of restrictions on the form of literary works and essays should encourage greater creativity and the development of ‘new’ forms. We have found ourselves in a similar position to the eighteenth century novelists in the sense that it is becoming increasingly harder to pin point works as a particular form. Just like Defoe and Richardson little ripples are forming in the literary ranks and writers are slowly disagreeing on how works should be classified.
In line with these exciting changes I have decided to write a short series of blogs looking at the rise of the novel, its changes in content, form and reception and explore what the developments meant for the novel as we know it today.
Let me know your thoughts as we enter on to this fascinating journey!