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The Erlebnis of New Reading Versão para impressão E-mail
Autor: Fernanda Bonacho   
The Erlebnis of New Reading
The interactive potential of online reading
Media participation


Every reader, if he has a strong mind, reads himself into the book, and amalgamates his thoughts with those of the author.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

[1] Literature is an element of culture that throughout times has changed and adapted itself to the different technological media in a slow though profound way. Each medium that has sheltered literature (voice, papyrus, heavy paperbacks, pocket or electronic books) has changed not only the way we read but also, and essentially, our own relationship with knowledge and the world.

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In a time when reading habits have been deeply transformed, we want to discuss how the use of new technologies translates aesthetic innovations into the every day most sensitive reading experience. In this paper, there is no intention to argue about any nostalgic forecast of a possible disappearance of the “old” book, as we have known it for centuries, but to enhance characteristics of this new liaison between technological means and literature under Walter Benjamin’s concept of Erlebnis.

The approach is to the electronic and digital media not as sources of innovation themselves, yet as mediators of new perceptions of the world. This new practice of reading stirs the equation of old issues linked to literacy theory and criticism under the redefinitions of the writing and reading concepts. Reading in a computer presents complexities of an experience lived through a communication mechanism, therefore demanding the articulation of old and new types of principles that enable practice. On the other hand, this media literacy continuously strengthens reading volatility and allows a coexistence of different languages that so far we have not fully understood.

[1] Este texto é uma versão da comunicação apresentada na Conferência Re-Mediating Literature – Universidade de Utrecht, 4-6 Julho de 2007.

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