cover of book
 

Big Books in Times of Big Data
by Inge Van de Ven
Leiden University Press, 2019
Paper: 978-90-8728-337-7

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS
ABOUT THIS BOOK
This book explores the aesthetics, medial affordances, and cultural economics of monumental literary works of the digital age and offers a comparative and cross-cultural perspective on a wide range of contemporary writers. Using an international archive of hefty tomes by authors such as Mark Z. Danielewski, Roberto Bolaño, Elena Ferrante, Karl Ove Knausgård, George R.R. Martin, Jonathan Franzen, and William T. Vollmann, van de Ven investigates multiple strands of bigness that speak to the tenuous position of print literature in the present but also to the robust stature of literary discourse within our age of proliferating digital media. Her study makes a case for the cultural agency of the big book—as a material object and a discursive phenomenon, entangled in complex ways with questions of canonicity, materiality, gender, and power. Van de Ven takes us into a contested terrain beyond the 1,000-page mark, where issues of scale and reader comprehension clash with authorial aggrandizement and the pleasures of binge reading and serial consumption.
 

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