Digital Age Has Tranformed the Writing Process, Authors Say; Storytelling Is at Least as Old as the Cave Paintings of Lascoux in France. but the Way Stories Are Told Has Evolved, from the Oral Tradition to the Invention of the Printing Press through the Digital Delivery of E-Books. [Derived Headline]

By Behe, Rege | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 9, 2016 | Go to article overview

Digital Age Has Tranformed the Writing Process, Authors Say; Storytelling Is at Least as Old as the Cave Paintings of Lascoux in France. but the Way Stories Are Told Has Evolved, from the Oral Tradition to the Invention of the Printing Press through the Digital Delivery of E-Books. [Derived Headline]


Behe, Rege, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Storytelling is at least as old as the cave paintings of Lascoux in France. But the way stories are told has evolved, from the oral tradition to the invention of the printing press through the digital delivery of e-books.

What stays the same is an innate need to tell, and hear, stories.

"I think people are hard-wired to process our existence narratively," says Thomas Sweterlitsch, a Greenfield resident and the author of the novel "Tomorrow and Tomorrow" (Putnam). "I think that people telling stories -- now and in the future and the past -- I think it's very, very similar."

Sweterlitsch will participate in the panel discussion "The Stories We Tell Ourselves in Order to Live" at noon April 14 in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center as part of the 16th annual Pitt-Greensburg Writers Festival. The festival, at various sites on the campus, takes place from April 11 to 15 and features discussions, readings and other literary events.

"Building a sense of community is, I think, central to our students' successes as writers now and forever," says Lori Jakiela, a professor of English and creative writing at Pitt-Greensburg. "Writing is, of course, a lonely business, and anything that makes it less lonely is incredibly valuable. The festival brings nationally and internationally known writers to campus to work with our students, and it brings alumni back home. Both of those things foster that important sense of community that lets Pitt-Greensburg writers know that they are part of something bigger, that writing is a life and not just a major, that it is something that goes on and on."

Like most occupations, writers have seen the nature of work change in the digital age. While the Internet provides easy access to information, it also is a gateway to distractions.

Panelist Sarah Shotland, the author of the novel "Junkette" (White Gorilla Press), confesses she is a "terrible procrastinator" and that the Internet can be a diversion.

"The digital age is full of ways to pull me away from the work of writing," Shotland says. …

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Digital Age Has Tranformed the Writing Process, Authors Say; Storytelling Is at Least as Old as the Cave Paintings of Lascoux in France. but the Way Stories Are Told Has Evolved, from the Oral Tradition to the Invention of the Printing Press through the Digital Delivery of E-Books. [Derived Headline]
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