Saturday, December 20, 2008

The rise of cell-phone novels

Dana Goodyear's article on cell-phone novels in The New Yorker brings up age-old questions about high vs. low art, but it also demonstrates that high-tech convenience can make it easier, psychologically, for someone to write a novel. To a writer like me who struggles mightily to escape his perfectionist tendencies and actually write, the cell-phone novel makes sense, if not as a genre than certainly as a way of making writing both more accessible and less high-pressure. (Shades of NaNoWriMo, come to think of it.) Blogging, which has an air of informality that opening a blank Word document does not, is a pretty good way for nervous writers to make the leap on a regular basis, but the article's image of a depressed young woman lying in bed on her side, typing away, really drives the point home. Now there just needs to be a J-Horror movie about a cell-phone novel that kills you seven days after you read it.

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