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

"There is no great writing, only great rewriting"
Justice Brandeis

Random picks

  • Chinatown Beat, by Henry Chang. My review here. Anyone else read it? Any thoughts?Oh yeah, also, last week I read Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson, and forgot to cross-post on this blog (here's the review). Sorry! But apparently there are some excited Robinson fans out here!
  • Thomas Jefferson was one of the principle authors of the Declaration of independence. This occurred at appoint in history when the thirteen States that would later became the United States of America were still considered British Colonies. The Americans were discontent with this state of affairs and wrote down the Declaration of independence.
  • Where do you think can you get the best Free iPad Download sources, nowadays? The Apple iPad is a remarkable product, voted by the majority of users as one of the best entertainment toys recently. It is a relatively new item built for everyone in mind. But it won’t be new for long. If you ever needed a manual on how to use this gadget to its fullest potential, you can get the walk through and tutorial information online. Unfortunately, there are no hardcopy manuals shipped or provided with an iPad, at least not the tutorial on how to take full advantage of this cool device! Sure, if you...
  • Want the most effective Barbecue secrets and techniques and suggestions you’ll ever find? Then you’ve arrived to the correct location! Secret Number one – It’s not really the sauce; it’s dependant alot more on the way you cook the meat. A great deal of folks are so excited to put their secret sauce over the meat that they usually fail to observe the significance of getting a tender meat. Bear in mind the texture from the meat must be made to priority. Ever tasted an overcooked meat with pungent sweet sauce? It feels like munching on the rubber with sauce, correct...
  • The difference between a set of knuckles crossing one’s jaw at full velocity and a subconscious attack unloading triggers and cues customized to one’s emotional acceptance profile is that the broken jaw can be wired shut and healed and the remnants of emotional infiltration will never leave the mind and will constantly expand, grow and infect other areas of one’s thought patterns and processes for life. PSYOPS concepts imposed on the will of the recipient are far more devastating than any physical harm as the torcher and ongoing agony of a mind that will never stop...

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

Writers not writing for a living often find enjoyment and small payouts from Web sites seeking material to raise their sites higher in the search engine rankings. Although this is a legitimate practice, the writing being published on the Web can often be less than professional. This lack of professionalism distorts the line between qualified and amateur writers. Writing standards are often not the highest priority as Web sites seek to drive traffic to gain advertising exposure. It seems as if readers are not as concerned about the writing quality, as long as they find a relevant account on a particular topic.