Does Writing Have a Future?
In Does Writing Have a Future?, a remarkably perceptive work first published in German in 1987, Vilém 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.
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aesthetic alphabetic writing alphanumeric code Ann Roth apparatuses artificial intelligences artificial memories becomes clear behavior brain called completely concept creative culture decode Deleuze desk différance digital codes discourse electromagnetic essay everything example existential experience Félix Guattari Foucault freedom function future gesture of writing Gilles Deleuze grasped Greek historical consciousness human ideograms informatic revolution inscription intentionally left blank invention Jacques Lacan kernels language game letters linear lines literary longer machines means Michael Hardt Michel Foucault models myth newspaper nominalist notation numbers objects Occam’s razor ofthe one’s particles peck poet poetry political possible Press programming publisher puzzle-solving question radio reader recoding scientific texts scripts sense society sounds speak spoken language stationery structure technical images television theory things thinking thought tion translation turn typewriter Universe of Technical University of Minnesota Vilém Flusser Walter Benjamin wastebasket word written signs