Throughout the term thus far, we each have presented to the other interns two literary journals, one a more traditional print journal and one an online journal. For the most part, I found that the online journals did a great deal to mirror their print counterparts. Though the way in which we view the material is different, both are essentially a collection of creative works and reviews, organized for the reader. Some online journals took advantage of their new medium more than others, incorporating voice recordings, video, and color photographs into their journal. However, I think the ways in which technology changes will continue to influence literature, and eventually we will see changes not just in format, but in content.
This past summer, I finally made the leap and purchased Barnes & Nobles’s color reading tablet, a device to which I had formally been vehemently opposed. I have quickly come to love its convenience and portability, and saving on the printing charges for the articles and other reading I’m assigned. However, after exploring the way novels and magazines appear on its screen, I’ve begun to wonder how the rise of such devices will change the content of what we read. Not only are certain things easier to view on small screens, but technology also conditions us to expect instant gratification, and we may expect not only easily accessible literary content, but additional information and media along with it.
Finally, we are on the verge of generation that will be raised from birth with this sort of media, and their comfort level with such technology may continue to push advances in the ways in which we view literature. All of this will surely have an impact on the types of literature produced, as writers become more mindful of both the new audience and the new format they are writing for.
It’s certainly an interesting time to be observing the literary world, and while I’m excited about the possibilities of online journals and content, I’m still hoping those beautiful hardcover books don’t disappear off our shelves too quickly!