• 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

"I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter."
Blaise Pascal

Random picks

  • In the 45th in a series of posts on 2014 books entered for The Story Prize, Ali Eteraz, author of Falsipedies and Fibsiennes (Guernica Editions), discusses his quest to crack the code of American writing and why he abandoned his efforts.They say about the poet William Carlos Williams, an immigrant, that he "nurtured a first-generation American’s obsession with the idea of an indigenously American art." Whether or not it was true in Williams' case, this obsession certainly applied to me.Ever since I arrived in New York via the Dominican Republic and Pakistan and was met with Edgar...
  • It's tough going for a good man in a messed-up world, particularly in Dennis Lehane's Boston.
  • The long tail principle is based on the assumption that the top 20% of the sales of the specific business shows only a small percentage of the accessible market. This portion is placed on the head of the demand curve, and is somewhat little compared to the very large number of niches trailing behind it. This theory relies upon the truth that, while many businesses mainly focus on the products/services that may be regarded bestsellers, there are many niches that remain uncovered. This idea had been developed in order to open the eyes of those trailing behind to the immense opportunity of...
  • We sit and listen to the minister in the small chapel with big glass windows, no adornment, no incense, everything plain.  Outside, the wind whistles across the moors…  At Granny’s request, there is no eulogy.  That’s the only thing that is weird.  No one gets up and speaks over Granny’s body, there in its oak coffin in the aisle of the church, and it feels strange not to talk about her, not to say who she was, how wonderful she was.  But that was her instruction and, like all the others, it must be followed to the letter.  (Love Always, Chapter 4) I first read Harriet...
  • I had no idea that my work on a motion picture would cause a high-profile death penalty case to end up with the California Supreme Court. Jesse James Hollywood had been gone for nearly three years by the time I became involved. He had totally disappeared. Vanished into thin air. And he seemed so

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

Recently, the writer and neurologist Alice W. Flaherty has argued that literary creativity is a function of specific areas of the brain, and that writer's block may be the result of brain activity being disrupted in those areas.