Literature in Today's Knowledge Society

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A small thought bubble on the role of literature in today's "knowledge society".

Submitted: May 05, 2013

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Submitted: May 05, 2013



Our society—or more specifically, my generation—is one made up of people born and bred on what can be accurately described as fast food information, but this is understandable. The explosion of new mediums in recent decades has driven a shift in human consciousness, and one cannot help but feel that our society has simply become overwhelmed by the sheer scale of it.

Technology has given people nearly unlimited access to the kind of learning absolutely unheard of in all of preceding human history, and it is this unbridled wave of knowledge that in some sense has forced the brain to adapt in a manner that will allow it to continually process this tsunami of data without exploding from the pressure. It must, for the sake of keeping equilibrium, ingest data in bits and pieces and in the quickest way possible to proceed to the next in a similar fashion. We certainly know more than the average person a century ago—and possibly lifetimes worth of knowledge in comparison to a person living centuries further back—but the method developed by our minds to control the ebb and flow of this knowledge has had an unfortunate side-effect: the dulling of our senses and our increased preference for greater sensory stimulation. Consequently, we have become less appreciative of things we ought to be able to appreciate. We as a generation suffer from blindness—not of the eyes, but of the soul.

But thank the stars that the blindness is only partial, which indicates the possibility of repair. Literature in this case serves as that healing essence: it forces us to focus our attention on the text and demands that we scrutinize and pour over the lines more perceptively. It forces our stagnant imaginations to reverberate with life once more, and teach us to once again feel and reflect with enhanced acuity and passion.

© Copyright 2017 Jan Gabriel. All rights reserved.

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