Somewhere in Brooklyn, two fresh-faced kids are building an ark for great writing. Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum, co-founders of Electric Literature, publish literary fiction for “devices” that do not include your home computer. With a rare combination of literary geekiness and MBA smarts, these young men give an old English major like me hope for the future – a future where books don’t look like the ones on my library shelf.
“We’ve embraced the idea that the forces that threaten literature – digital distribution and the potential distractions of YouTube, Twitter, Video games, cell phones, and the like – can instead be marshaled in its defense,” Hunter writes. To learn how, read his challenging (and well-written) article in the October 25 issue of Publishers Weekly. This new generation of literature buffs is not waiting for the future of books to happen; they’re creating it.
“Last year in Samoa, a group of surfers survived a devastating tsunami by riding the wave. To us, the digitizing of content is also a tsunami, and no seawall of any height or thickness will protect the entrenched,” Hunter warns.
Writers and publishers had better put on their swimmies and climb on the wave. That glow you see on the horizon is the digital handwriting on the electronic wall.