in the Age of Media, Computers, and Internet
READING OUTSIDE THE APOCALYPSE
Could it be that reading and literature itself being one of the dimensions of the familiar virtual we have inherited are endangered by the technically facilitated generation of the virtual by means of the PC and the Global Network? Internet communication provides the reader with the opportunity to literally participate in the creative process not only via the process of reading. While writing and asking the author and the other readers taking part in the event the reader changes the role and status of the mediator-critic. The Internet in the long run multiplies the number of people willing to write literary texts – most probably due to the easier ways it offers for publishing and promoting what has been written and not only due to the creative impulse supposedly inborn in each human being.
In other words, the Global Network establishes a rather different model of implementation of the reading and writing activities. Besides, Written word has acquired part of the reading potential, it has integrated it in itself, it has foreseen it. The reading-writing process radically changes its parameters and namely because it is over-adaptive it remains outside the predicted Apocalypse. And if the questioning of the future of literature and culture is well founded it is based on the commercialization, the Coca-Cola culture invading both the real and the virtual. Internet technology, however, possesses a potential capable of encouraging cultural processes. Its main factor is the new level of freedom existent in the Network by definition. Still the question that remains is who utilizes this freedom and whether we are prepared to face its challenges. Because the world, the world of art and literature is not the same any more.