By Virginia Heffernan
Simply as Susan Sontag did for images and Marshall McLuhan did for tv, Virginia Heffernan (called one of many “best residing writers of English prose”) finds the good judgment and aesthetics in the back of the Internet.
Since its inception, the web has morphed from basically an extension of conventional media into its personal full-fledged civilization. it's between mankind’s nice masterpieces—a immense murals. As an idea, it opponents monotheism. all of us inhabit this interesting position. yet its deep good judgment, its cultural power, and its societal effect frequently elude us. during this deep and considerate ebook, Virginia Heffernan offers an unique and far-reaching research of what the net is and does.
Life on-line, within the hugely visible, social, transportable, and international incarnation rewards yes virtues. the recent medium favors velocity, accuracy, wit, prolificacy, and flexibility, and its shape and capabilities are altering how we understand, adventure, and comprehend the world.
“In melding the private with the more and more common, Heffernan gives you a hugely informative research of what the net is—and might be. A completely engrossing exam of the Internet’s earlier, present,and future.” –Kirkus, Starred Review
"Heffernan is a gleeful trickster, a semiotics fan with an unabashed candy the teeth for pop culture...MAGIC BRINGS pleasure [in this] relaxing snapshot."—The long island Times
"Magic and Loss is an illuminating consultant to the internet...it is most unlikely to return clear of this publication with no sharing a few of [Heffernan's] awe for this courageous new world."—The Wall highway Journal
“Magic and Loss is the ebook we—or not less than I—have been expecting, the publication that web tradition, and how it’s replaced the expression and reception of artwork, language, and ideas, merits and calls for. Virginia Heffernan argues that the net, greatly conceived, is a ‘massive and collaborative paintings of realist art,’ and he or she illuminates it with the easiest type of cultural criticism—humane, own, and very clever, with a body of references that incorporates St. Thomas Aquinas, Liz Phair, Richard Rorty, Beyoncé, and the pairing of Dante and Steve Jobs, ‘labile romantics.’ no matter if writing approximately how the Kindle replaced analyzing, how the iPod and iPhone replaced listening, or how the loss of life of landline phones replaced speaking, Heffernan is going correct to the center of the lived experience... Virginia Heffernan fees Harold Bloom to the influence that ‘to behold is a sad posture; to watch is a moral one.’ In Magic and Loss, she observes, within the most sensible experience of the word.”—Ben Yagoda, writer of The B-Side and the way not to Write Bad
"Goddamn, Virginia Heffernan is brilliant."—Lenny Letter
“Heffernan is a brand new species of wizard, capable of practice literary magic upon supersonic expertise. Her superpower is to take away the expertise from expertise, leaving the fundamental artwork. chances are you'll get an epiphany, like I did, of what a masterpiece this net factor is. Heffernan has the therapy for the small pondering that daily usually produces. She generates really good insights on the pace of sunshine, warmed up through her well-worn classical soul. it is a pleasure and revelation to be less than her spell.”—Kevin Kelly, writer of What know-how desires and co-founder of Wired
"Virginia Heffernan spins the straw of the net into research that’s strong gold: a super book..”—Mark Edmundson, professor on the collage of Virginia, and writer of Why train? and Why soccer Matters
"Magic and Gain!"—Frank Wilczek, Winner of the 2005 Noble Prize in Physics and writer of an attractive Question
“Readers may be enthralled by means of Heffernan’s distinctive tackle this renowned entity. Tech-savvy readers could be interested in this booklet, however the notion of know-how as artistic expression must also appeal to paintings fans. most vital, readers can be inspired to understand the web not just for its skill to attach us to each other and data but additionally for its beauty.”—Library Journal
"My reproduction of Magic and Loss is sloppily scrawled with all-caps pencillings of phrases like 'YES!' and 'TRUTH!'"—Mark McConnell, Slate
"Her e-book (thankfully) is extra like an essay than like a treatise. Heffernan is sensible, her writing has aptitude, she will refer intelligently to Barthes, Derrida, and Benjamin—also to Aquinas, Dante, and Proust—and she is familiar with much concerning the net and its history."—The New Yorker
"This is luxurious writing, saturated with observations which are at the same time own, cultural, and strikingly original—and she’s writing approximately software program. i like it. finally, the paintings here's her prose style."—The New Republic
"Marrying this research along with her personal attention-grabbing own historical past with the net as a pre-teen, Magic and Loss is a revealing examine how the net keeps to reshape our lives emotionally, visually and culturally."—The Smithsonian Magazine
"The top writing on indignant Birds you will ever encounter."— stressed out, no 1 summer time seashore Read
“Heffernan's rhetoric is so dexterous that even electronic pessimists like me can groove to her descriptions of ‘achingly attractive apps,’ her comparability of MP3 compression to ‘Zeuxius's realist work from the fifth century BC.’ And Heffernan is subtly much less positive than she firstly seems—she understands that magic isn't the contrary of loss, yet occasionally its handmaiden. She's written a blazing and eventually clever e-book, passionate in its resistance to the lazy certitudes of a cynically triumphal scientism.”—Michael Robbins, writer of the second one intercourse and Alien vs. Predator
Virginia Heffernan writes usually approximately electronic tradition for the recent York occasions journal. In 2005, Heffernan (with cowriter Mike Albo) released the cult comedian novel The Underminer (Bloomsbury). In 2002, she got her PhD in English Literature from Harvard.
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Additional info for Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art
But the companies rise and fall on the strength and value to advertisers of what at Yahoo! News, where I covered digital politics during the 2012 election, we used to optimistically call their “assets”—visual, auditory, textual. ) These assets are nearly always ironic, cartoonish, or dramatic extensions of established and even ancient art forms: aphoristic poetry suitable for Twitter; painterly images for Instagram; polemics, essays, and reports for Facebook. When the comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black appeared in 2013 as one of Netflix’s first batch of original dramas—“television” had long been all-digital by then—viewers took it in stride that it would be an inmate’s-eye story.
It was made by manic amateurs trying to talk in pictures, not by cool pros with degrees in Scandinavian design. THE REFRACTED RECORD OF TECH HISTORY Right now, looking at my laptop screen, I see a row of tight, fussy little icons below the Google doc I have open. This is the “deck” on a Mac. I used to know these like my own five fingers, but that’s when I only had five icons. Now there are—twenty? These represent the tips of the icebergs for the major tech players, and like ticker symbols, they all jostle uncomfortably for my attention.
Flawed. Not so much mesmerizing as provocative. Harold Bloom wrote that to behold is a tragic posture; to observe is an ethical one. Funtwo required near-clinical observation. You didn’t behold this video, as you might a Hollywood movie, enraptured by the spectacle. You inclined toward it. You studied it, like a scientist. You peered, as at scrambled porn on a high and forbidden channel. As soon as I leaned forward, I had reached for Tolkien’s ring, or tasted some life-altering drug, or crossed a magical line, and there was no going back.
Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art by Virginia Heffernan