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Does Writing Have a Future? By Vilem Flusser

Does Writing Have a Future? by Vilem Flusser

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A prescient exploration of the fate of the book in the digital age.

Does Writing Have a Future? Summary

Does Writing Have a Future? by Vilem Flusser

In Does Writing Have a Future?, a remarkably perceptive work first published in German in 1987, Vilem Flusser asks what will happen to thought and communication as written communication gives way, inevitably, to digital expression. In his introduction, Flusser proposes that writing does not, in fact, have a future because everything that is now conveyed in writing-and much that cannot be-can be recorded and transmitted by other means.
Confirming Flusser's status as a theorist of new media in the same rank as Marshall McLuhan, Jean Baudrillard, Paul Virilio, and Friedrich Kittler, the balance of this book teases out the nuances of these developments. To find a common denominator among texts and practices that span millennia, Flusser looks back to the earliest forms of writing and forward to the digitization of texts now under way. For Flusser, writing-despite its limitations when compared to digital media-underpins historical consciousness, the concept of progress, and the nature of critical inquiry. While the text as a cultural form may ultimately become superfluous, he argues, the art of writing will not so much disappear but rather evolve into new kinds of thought and expression.

Does Writing Have a Future? Reviews

"Vilem Flusser's flashes of brilliant insight, his intuitions about the psychology of gadgets and convergences, his deeply well-read and philosophically grounded investigations of wide-ranging consequences of a new literacy, are widely admired and deserve an Anglophone audience. Into the Universe of Technical Images and Does Writing Have a Future? are of the first rank in the canon of new media studies and digital culture." -Peter Krapp, author of Deja Vu: Aberrations of Cultural Memory

"Perhaps a turn to Flusser will change the disregard for media that so characterizes the cultural theory of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. For Flusser, however flamboyant and polemical his writing at times is, thought deeply about the emergence of electronic media and its implications for not only Western but truly global culture." -Mark Poster, from the Introduction

About Vilem Flusser

Vilem Flusser (1920-1991) was born in Prague; emigrated to Brazil, where he taught philosophy and wrote a daily newspaper colum; and later moved to France. Among his many books that have been translated into English are The Shape of Things, Towards a Philosophy of Photography, The Freedom of the Migrant, and Writings (Minnesota, 2004). Nancy Ann Roth is an arts writer and critic based in the United Kingdom. Mark Poster is professor of history at University of California, Irvine.

Table of Contents

An Introduction to Vilem Flusser's Into the Universe of Technical Images and Does Writing Have a Future?
Mark Poster
Does Writing Have a Future?
Letters of the Alphabet
Spoken Languages
Ways of Reading
The Digital
Afterword to the Second Edition
Translator's Afterword and Acknowledgments
Nancy Roth
Translator's Notes

Additional information

Does Writing Have a Future? by Vilem Flusser
Used - Very Good
University of Minnesota Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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