9.9.12

Will Self on Digital Distractions

From a recent article exploring the relationship between writing and the internet
Will Self writing in Liverpool's (now demolished) Linosa Close tower block during the Further Up In The Air project
Will Self, quoted by Carl Wilkinson in The Telegraph (via Susan Tomaselli):
'“I think I felt oppressed by the distractions of digital media and longed for a certain level of clarity and simplicity that the typewriter afforded,” he says. “The internet is of no relevance at all to the business of writing fiction directly, which is about expressing certain kinds of verities that are only found through observation and introspection. It’s an incredibly powerful tool and you’d be stupid not to use it, but it’s a distraction in the actual business of writing.”

[...]

As a former addict, Will Self is acutely aware of the internet’s potential power to lure users into cul-de-sacs of distraction. “It fulfils the criteria of addiction, which is obsessive mental content connected to compulsive action,” he says. “The machine itself seems like a paradigm of the addictive state. I can see it as something that needs to be put down the way an alcoholic puts down drink.”' [Read More]
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