How To End A Literature Review

While authors sometimes spend entire lives attempting to perfect a single poem or story, programmable machines can generate an infinite number of works more or less instantly, and who knows, maybe some of them are “perfect.” Dartmouth College, in announcing its 2018 Literary Creative Turing Tests, offers thousand-dollar prizes each for machine-generated programs that “have the ability to produce effectively an infinite number” of sonnets, limericks, original short poems, and children’s stories. For one thing, the pleasure of curling up in front of the fire with a bound codex—“the haptics of the printed word,” as a book-loving friend has put it.

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Points & Length: 240 points; 5-6 pages (1500-1800 words) Format: Double space; include heading on the first page (top left); place shortened title and page number in the header of every page (top right); see Format Instructions Title: Include an informative, interesting, provocative and/or creative title that reflects your narrowed topic (see , p.

247) Drafts: First draft to be copied and pasted into a forum window; final draft to be submitted as an uploaded file on Canvas.

The invention of the movie camera at the end of the 19th century and the international industrial cinema that followed had already dented print narrative’s dominance—it was so hard to read a book, so easy to watch a movie—when, as the last century was winding down, along came programmable machines called computers.

Whereupon human discourse began to move off the page and into the infinitely spacious digital universe, a radically divergent medium that both absorbed everything from the old technology and ultimately displaced it; print documents could be read on laptops and phone screens (and largely are now), but hypermediated sound, text, and image could not be moved into print.

Some say that irony was born in that peculiarity of the book.

But, if nowadays there is less of the sustained readerly attention that literature has traditionally demanded, one can anticipate that new experimental forms will emerge to reach these restless rewired generations, and that writers, if in the post-literature world they are still to be called writers, will continue, in whatever medium and with whatever tools, to tell stories, explore paradox, strive for meaning and beauty (those sweet old illusions), pursue self-understanding, seek out the hidden content of the tribal life, and so on—in short, all the grand endeavors we associate with literature, even if what they make may not literature, any more than film is literature or nature a poem.

Information as data can now be accessed and sorted at the speed of light, but literature is not mere information, as all authors insist, and speed in the composition or processing of it has never been considered a virtue. Hardest thing in the world for today’s rapid-fire multitasking user, bopping about urgently on various social media networks and researching the universe minute by minute.

Writing as a craft requires patience and discipline, and the same is asked of the reader. In the digital age, literature, written or read, is widely looked upon as a misuse of time (still precious, time is, that hasn’t changed, nor likely will), its potential played out, nothing left but nuance and repetition, even as some make use of the print narrative industry for their own profit and pleasure, in the way that the author of the Gilgamesh epic and his tenured priestly and scribal friends made use of the gullibility of the illiterate for their own continued well-being.

Only mad religionists and some wistful librarians continued to venerate the printed word.

A tool engineered to embrace and set in concerted motion not only language, but all signs and gestures, icons, objects, sounds and images, with instant access to global networks, has to be a powerful tool.

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