• warning: preg_replace() [function.preg-replace]: Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace() [function.preg-replace]: Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace() [function.preg-replace]: Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace() [function.preg-replace]: Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace() [function.preg-replace]: Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace() [function.preg-replace]: Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.

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

"The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium."
Norbet Platt

Random picks

  • WomenArts Quarterly Journal Summer 2011 feature the paintings of Iceland artist Kristin Halldorsdottir Eyfells (1917-2002). Eyfells painted large color portraits of popular figures in arts, entertainment, and politics. "No one ever sat for a portrait in her studio; instead, Eyfells formulated her interpretation of each subject from knowledge of their lives. She read everything she could find on
  • The bulk of my Squarespace move is finished, though I still have quite a few tweaks to go. Still, it's SO GOOD to finally get back to my own writing! Also a relief to Google my name & Inkygirl pages and NOT get pharmaceutical hacked info. But back to my own writing... More and more people have been inquiring about where they can buy a print collection of my comics, so I've (finally) written a nonfiction book proposal featuring compilation of my best Inkygirl and Will Write For Chocolate comics. I plan to send it out soon, but obviously I want to include samples of my work. Do you recall a...
  • I love it when friends find success. And after getting to know Richard Mabry, MD, here at WU, I do consider him a friend. Richard, who was a long-time physician in private practice, then a professor for Southwestern Medical School, had plenty of works published before he turned to fiction. He wrote hundreds of articles for [...]
  • This was a staggering revelation regarding its contractor management but also presented a significant risk of becoming both a safety and legal liability.
  • Here's a story that is fairly up front about what it is: a story. Or not. It also claims that it won't do a lot of things that a story does, which lends credence to the idea that it's not really a story. It's a story about a story. It's enough of a metafiction piece to get under a reader's nerves and certainly to keep readers distant from the characters themselves in what would usually be a daunting situation (a couple working on a baby, the husband having just lost on Jeopardy!, their only means to pay for the technology needed to make a baby possible). But Luft's piece is as much about the...

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

It has been said that a monkey, randomly typing away on a typewriter (in the days when typewriters replaced the pen or plume as the preferred instrument of writing) could re-create Shakespeare-- but only if it lived long enough (this is known as the infinite monkey theorem).