The Effect of Digitisation on the Novel

By John Robert Weldon.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When text goes digital it changes forever. It’s no longer fixed unalterably on the page. Readers can play with it, change it, comment on it, even rewrite it if they so wish. Interactive digital technology dissolves the barrier between reader and author; it challenges ideas of finality of version and of authorship. What do these changes mean for the novel? Can it function in the digital arena? By democratizing and making public the publishing and writing processes, such technologies and platforms challenge the norms surrounding the author reader dynamic and the role of the individual in reading and writing established by print.

Keywords: e-Book, Orality, Online, Novel, Author, Reader, Transmedia Web 2.0, Digital Technology, Multividual, Interactive

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.57-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 796.579KB).

John Robert Weldon

Lecturer in Professional and Creative Writing, School of Communication and The Arts, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

John Weldon has worked as a freelance writer since the mid-1990s for Melbourne-based organisations such as The Age, The ABC, The Western Times and Meanland. He currently lectures in Professional and Creative Writing at Victoria University where he is also undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing. The novel component of the PhD entitled, Spincycle (Vulgar Press 2012), is a creative exploration of the impact of digitisation on the novel. Weldon is currently researching the future of the book with a special focus on the potential impact of convergence and e-publishing on the formal conventions of the novel.


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