Is it possible for online literature to “feed back” traditional literature
Market Information Network 2022-12-05 15:23:27 Source: People’s Daily Online Comments:
If we don’t consider the ecological changes caused by the innovation of media technology, but only in terms of the internal rationale of literature development, it is worth pondering that Internet literature has come to this point. On the one hand, in such a short period of time, China‘s online literature has established a mature business system that integrates creation, signing, feedback, and adaptation. Whether it is the number of works, readership, or cultural influence, it has all It’s incredible. On the other hand, people are keen to talk about the “disappearance of stories” in 20th century literature, and in recent years there has been a so-called “decline of print culture”, partly because of the powerful challenges posed by audio-visual culture, digital culture, and mobile terminals. However, in the Internet age with so many media means, it is unexpected that stories constructed purely from words can still produce such magic power. Internet literature is of course different from traditional literature. It seems that it is difficult to be meticulously crafted and fully stylized. Too strong a sense of serving readers makes Internet writing unable to do what one wants, and writers often have to focus on narrative. Abandoning more complicated processing methods on the protagonist… So, for the future literary ecology, can the existence of online literature have a positive effect? Or, is it possible for it to “feed back” traditional literature? This is a question Issues that require serious consideration.
If traditional novels are fictional, then online novels are virtual
As early as 1999, when the Internet had just penetrated into people’s lives, the writer Yu Hua imagined the infinite possibilities it opened up for literature. He said that what literature gives us is a fictional world, and the Internet brings us a virtual world, both of which are boundless. At that time, Internet literature was still in a chaotic period, and it was impossible to make a conclusion, but Yu Hua still keenly grasped a key word-virtual. If traditional novels are fictitious, then online novels are fictitious, with a difference of one word, but contain extremely complex content.
The psychological premise of writing and reading online novels is often a kind of “withdrawal consciousness”-the writer or reader’s ego is withdrawn from the real world and projected into the virtual world. This not only explains why old-fashioned content settings such as time travel and rebirth are so enduring, but also determines some basic characteristics of web writing. For example, reading traditional novels, including popular novels, always requires a necessary sense of psychological distance. We can’t imagine encountering characters like Jean Valjean, Anna Karenina, or Xiao Feng and Linghu Chong in our daily life. A strong self-conscious other. However, online novels eliminate this psychological distance. The superficial design and bizarre content remind readers of the virtuality of novels all the time, and apart from possessing extraordinary skills and luck, the protagonists of online novels are often no different from ordinary people. , They have a simple sense of justice, but they are also lazy, painful, and petty. They are the people around us, and they use language and thinking methods that are close to ours.
At the same time, game thinking is the key to understanding web novels. In this virtual word game, the author or reader plans or makes requests for the content, setting, and direction of the game based on “human purpose”. If the fictional world of traditional novels is organic, then the virtual world of online novels is mechanical. Web writers can freely choose elements from different sources to build their world, and readers of traditional literature feel that many details of “jumping drama” are familiar to web readers. They can still play the current hot memes in the overhead world without having to think too much about “organicity”. The trick to maintaining the sense of reality in the virtual world is not to reproduce nature realistically, but to stimulate readers’ enthusiasm for reading-fast, immersive, and unreflective reading will plug all possible gaps. In this regard, online novels have indeed developed mature narrative techniques, which can complete complex actions within a limited space.
As the scholar Li Yangquan said, the experience of virtual existence constitutes the deep meaning of Chinese Internet literature. Indeed, the sense of virtuality has shaped Chinese online literature. On this basis, let’s discuss its role further.
Writing with knowledge and skills as the main elements may become a trend
The pursuit of virtuality constrains the artistic space of online novels to a considerable extent. The virtual world is a mechanical world. Although this world is huge, it is not complicated. It is difficult for writers to go beyond their own limitations and seek some kind of richness. The Turkish writer Pamuk said that the creation of a novel involves finding a virtual point from which we can see the whole. However, the creation logic of online novels is just the opposite. It virtualizes countless whole worlds, but these worlds shrink to a narrow self. That being the case, how can the creation of online literature have a positive impact on the literary ecology? In my opinion, the possible path for online literature to seek high-quality products is knowledge, technology, and experience.
As the information medium becomes more and more developed, indiscriminate knowledge seems to become gradually ineffective. Given this situation, the novelist has at least two options. One is to organically organize knowledge and bring all kinds of knowledge into one final insight. Traditional novelists often follow this path, such as Li Er’s novel “Brother Yingwu”. The second is to intensify knowledge, and the knowledge and technology itself will give birth to the sense of quality of the novel, thus moving towards an empirical writing method. This is a strategy many web novelists employ.
In the creation of online articles in recent years, the emergence of textual and technical works has gradually become an eye-catching phenomenon. The so-called “textual research flow” mainly refers to some historical works. These works cannot be regarded as historical novels, because the center of their narration is the tortuous experience of the protagonist, and the purpose is to satisfy the reader’s desire to substitute himself into history, rather than to restore history or pass on historical knowledge. However, out of the pursuit of quality, writers often try their best to pay attention to details such as utensils, clothing, etiquette, timeline, and relationship between characters. “Technical flow” works can be mainly divided into two categories: “professional” and “science fiction”. These works often have their specific readership, so the author needs to fully combine knowledge and interest in writing. In an ideal work of textual research and technical flow, the overall sense of virtuality and the sense of reality of details can achieve a subtle harmony, and the two even cause each other.
With the continuous development of novel art, many possibilities have been exhausted, and writing with knowledge and skills as the main elements may become a trend. We can also see the existence of this trend from Wang Anyi’s “Tianxiang”, “Kaogongji”, Ge Liang’s “Yanshiji” and other traditional novels. Of course, Ma Boyong’s novels such as “The Lychee of Chang’an” and “The Great Doctor: Breaking Dawn” remind us the possibility of the convergence of Internet literature and traditional literature in the trend.
The essence of literature is to use appropriate words to convey rich content
When it comes to the role that Internet literature can play in the literary ecology, I think of a passage by Qian Zhongshu: “There is no other way to change articles. These things are now taken as literary materials; as for the so-called indecent words, they are now organized and well organized. It can be called the expansion of the realm of poetry and prose, and it can be called the intrusion of famous things that do not enter poetry and prose.” Duanhua is about the interaction between poetry and prose, and it is also about the interaction between elegant literature and popular literature. Internet literature is popular literature in the Internet age, and it may also provide materials and expand the scope of traditional literature. However, the key to the problem lies in the five words of “using non-literature as literature”.
The so-called “writing without writing” means that the development of Internet literature may prompt us to establish a concept of “big literature”. The “big literature” mentioned here does not refer to the inclusiveness or diversity of literature, but refers to the fact that literature will overflow the humanistic and professional categories, become a pure carrier of experience, or return to its original state. As Zhang Taiyan said, “Written on bamboo and silk, it is called Wen”. Among the well-known Internet writers, there are not a few who come from science and engineering, and the prevalence of technology streams and career-oriented works means that Internet literature is gradually de-literary. Writers only need to set their knowledge, experience, and content through appropriate words. , Narrative technology can be docked, and the function of the virtual sense is to provide a containing space that can be shaped according to the object. However, de-literaryization does not necessarily lead to a lowering of the threshold for writing. The demands of the public and the market are rising, not to mention the knowledge, technology, setting, and professionalism behind the narrative. Even “appropriate writing” is not easy to acquire.
Or ask, can we still have expectations for such literary creation? This question is difficult to answer. I always feel that excessive “literature” is also a kind of evil. It may form a literary tone, cover up quality with words, and eventually lead to poor quality. In this regard, Lu Xun has an appropriate metaphor: “Using a section of big tree and four small trees to make a stool is too rough now, so it has to be planed. But if the whole body is carved, the middle is hollowed out. You can’t sit on it, and you can’t use it as a stool.” After all, the essence of literature is to convey rich content with appropriate words. The emergence of a large number of textual and technical works is precisely in response to this appeal. If it is said that in the future big literary structure, Internet literature can “feed back” traditional literature, the breakthrough may be here – to stimulate more possibilities in a more simple form of literature.
(Author: He Yicong, associate professor of Shanxi University College of Arts)
Original manuscript link: http://edu.people.com.cn/n1/2022/1204/c1006-32580039.html
Editor in charge: Liu Yuan