The Literary Life: Michael Stutz, Net Generation Seeker

Michael Stutz began exploring the literary/underground/DIY culture of the Internet as a writer for Wired and Rolling Stone so long ago that, way back when i first showed up (which was a long time ago), he was already there to show me around. After a long self-imposed separation from the online world, he has now returned with a three-volume novel chronicling the entire life of a connoisseur of connected culture. Meet Michael Stutz.
Levi: Your novel Circuits of the Wind: A Legend of the Net Age is a coming-of-age tale, hearkening back to other classics of the genre from Henry Fielding's Tom Jones to J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. But your hero's world is a new one for fiction: the emerging society of online culture, from the early Unix dial-up BBS's of the 1980s to the dot-com mania of the 90s to the more scattered social networking scene of today. What kind of reaction are you getting from readers to the idea that a life lived largely online is one worthy of heroic fiction?
Michael: The novelist Tony D'Souza just called the book's hero, Ray Valentine, "the Everyman of the wired age," so it seems to be natural -- and remember McLuhan: "technology forces us to live mythically." Yet, you know, heroic fiction of the kind we're talking about is almost nonexistent in contemporary literary fiction. Arther S. Trace, Jr., an outsider intellectual, wrote a powerful, prescient book in the early 70s called The Future of Literature. This is about the only book of literary theory to map out and show the decline of heroic fiction. It was a long process, but Trace shows how it really tanks in the day of postmodernism. And you know what? I've always been repelled by postmodernism -- in everything, from literature to architecture. I don't identify with it or fit in with it at all. For decades we've had the postmodern "antihero" in fiction, and everything has to be ironic and heartless, and that just doesn't connect with me. I'm Beat and before. Bring me back to that and let's go off in a whole new direction and forget all this other stuff. I want to do something totally different. So if the classical hero is the way, and the new world of the net is my ineluctable material, the combination is pretty much the way it had to be.
read more

"You call this a script? Give me a couple of $5000.00-a-week writers and I'll write it myself. "
Joe Pasternak

Random picks

  • In the days, weeks and months ahead, thousands of aspiring writers will seek fame and fortune with their first published work. Some will catch the brass ring, but most will not. I'm not saying this to discourage you. In fact, if you read through this entire article you will see that what I have written here is meant to help... not to discourage. My goal here in is to provide you with a course of action, not a detour.
  • Anyone else hyped? CARTOON EMBED CODE: (Before embedding, see my cartoon licensing info.)  
  • I went through a weird sequence of emotions when I spotted a new history book, Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962 by Yang Jisheng. First, I felt a flash of excitement: this will be the book that will help me to understand this unimaginable episode in history. But, I quickly realized, I've already read (and blogged about) two thick books that...
  • As you know if you are considering writing an E-book it's an electronically downloaded book onto your computer and read at your leisure. Here you will find the basics about E-book writing and where to get the software you need to start easily.
  • To be able to completely look after the the health supplements for your dear horses, find more quality information and facts about them before obtaining. You will discover several horse nutrition resource websites on line intended to support you in your pursuit to finding the correct fit for your equines. As a way to completely manage the health supplements for your precious equines, find additional quality information about them before obtaining. There are actually several horse nutrition resource web sites on line that would advice you in your goal to locating a quality fit for your equines...

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

The contemporary important writing not of alphabetic type is that in Chinese characters, in which thousands of symbols are used, each representing a word or concept, and Japanese, where each character represents a syllable.