Review of Jay Bolter Articles

For homework in my Intro to Writing Arts class, we were each asked to read both articles by Jay Bolter. The first one was titled “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print” and the second one was titled “Writing as Technology”. After reading the articles, I found some interesting points that were made which connected to writing and writing technologies within my own life.

Bolter makes a good point in his article “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print” when he states that the computer is taking over printed texts. For most of us, we still like the feeling of holding a book or a magazine in our hand, but technology is changing the way we live. Many authors prefer to publish their first novel in written text instead of over the internet. However, some groups such as scientific researchers, businesses, and the government, are transferring their printed work to the computer screen. I can relate this to my personal life because growing up in the township of West Deptford I carried textbooks to each of my classes. Now as a substitute teacher within the West Deptford school district, I watch the students carry around their individual school-supplied laptops to each of their classes.

Bolter made another notable point in his article when he states, “in addition to redefining the voice of the text, our culture is also redefining the visual and conceptual space of writing” (12). During the writing process, the writer creates a reflective and a reflexive relationship with the written paper. Their thoughts are created and connected to the paper when seen on the page. Some may argue that when typing a paper, the writer may feel the same connection, but the writer doesn’t physically write out their thoughts and see them in their own handwriting. Making our thoughts visible is something that we shouldn’t forget how to do.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using the computer instead of picking up a pen or pencil to write. However, whether we want it to or not, technology is changing our lives. Electronic writing today is “the remediation of printed text, with its claim to refashioning the presentation and status of alphabetic writing itself”. Overall, I know that I have personally seen myself using the computer more than printed text. I type papers instead of write them and I read articles online more than on written text.

References:

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Introduction: Writing in the late age of printWriting space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. 1-13. [pdf]

Bolter, J.D. (2001). Writing as technologyWriting space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. 14 – 26. [pdf]

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