Without literature we would be mute in the face of technological revolutions. It was a novelist who invented the term “cyberspace”; it was a writer who coined the word “robot”. But literature itself is subject to influences of the internet. Telecommunication gave rise to new myths, to new metaphors of the human condition: The cyborg myth of Sterling and Gibson, the cyberfeminism of Donna Haraway, the multiple-personality-myth as suggested by Sherry Turkle, claiming that I am Many, the fairytale of Memes, memory viruses and Neo-Darwinian models to describe culture. The interrelation of technology and language even goes as far as changes in the vocabulary and a new strengthening of English as the global lingua franca. Will this development continue, or are we, with search engines in Spanish, French, and German cropping up, at a turning point? What is the role of literature in this global village?
- Friedrich Kittler (Germany), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin