sep 30

iPhone Novel?

New Media in Fiction: Will There Ever Be an "iPhone Novel"? "I think the absence of technology in literature is worth investigating... Many contemporary novelists do away with any mentions of mobile phones and email, even when it seems implausible." Lots of good stuff in there, including this LAT piece that I missed: Remember movies before the cellphone?


One thing I've noticed about Gossip Girl is that it actually underplays the titular element. It seems like only a third of the episodes actually use GG as part of the narrative (that is, more than just an occasional narrator).

posted by Rex at 12:11 PM on September 30, 2008

I find that as soon as I throw in the word 'blackberry' or 'blog', it's like it becomes a giant, flashing signpost that says "THIS STORY IS TRYING TO BE CONTEMPORARY". I realise that part of that has to do with my limitations as a writer, but then, as this piece points out, no-one else has done it (terribly well) either.

There's a writer named Zulfikar Ghose who's classified as a 'South Asian postcolonial' writer - but he generally writes vaguely magic-realist stuff set in South America. He still tackles the usual postcolonial themes - exile, migration, hybridity, indeterminacy etc. - but, instead of using the same ole' locales and ideas, he does it all analogously. I think that's a possible place to start - in stories about documentation, making the private public, the other 'virtual space' as social proxy or prosthesis. But I think what the TM piece said was crucial: that this has to be about stories and people, not (just) ideas.

posted by Nav at 1:14 PM on October 1, 2008

Although it's not about technology, I'm reminded of Nick's piece: The Diablo Cody Effect. In some ways, it argues the opposite of Joanne, suggesting that packing contemporary references in fiction is hurting it. (It's not a 1:1 comparison, because there's a difference between casual references and developing entire narrative arcs around contemporary objects.)

posted by Rex at 1:23 PM on October 1, 2008

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