English 248-002: Literature and Contemporary Life
Response 2: Managing abundance
DUE: September 12, 2013
Focus your second response on the texts from week 2: Ann Blair, Clay Shirky, or Victor Hugo. You can focus on one text, put two texts in conversation with each other, or trace a common thread in all three. Regardless of your approach, remember that your response should have a main point or central question that you're pursuing. You could (but are not required to) use one of the following prompts as a jumping-off point:
- Some of the cranky complaints that Ann Blair documents might sound familiar if you recall Nicholas Carr's diatribe against "the Net." Other than consultative and intensive reading (Blair 43), which we discussed in class on Tuesday the 10th, what parallels do you see between Carr and the voices Blair cites from the 12th-18th centuries? How is the anxiety over media change similar or different, and why?
- Victor Hugo writes that "beginning with the discovery of printing, architecture withers away little by little, becomes lifeless and bare." Drawing on examples from his chapter from Notre-Dame de Paris, what reasons does Hugo give for this withering? Thinking about your own use of media, are there any applications, software programs, devices, websites, or web services that you relied on in the past, but now you've forgotten about them or they're dead to you? Do you buy this metaphor of a newer medium "killing off" or completely replacing another older medium? Why or why not?
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