The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts

The University of Chicago Press (Chicago/London) 1993, English text 278 pp.

The personal computer has revolutionized the structure of communication, concealing beneath its astonishing versatilityand consumer appeal a bold transition to electronic, post modern culture. Unchecked by the inherent limitations of conventional print, digitized text has introduced a radically new medium of expression. Interactive, volatile, mixing wordand image, the electronic word challenges all our assumptions about artistic, educational, and political discourse.

Lanham explores this challenge. With hope and enthusiasm, he surveys the effects of electronic text on the arts and letters and how they might be taught in a newly democratized society. To those who view electronic text as a cultural catastrophe, he counters that "electronic expression has come not to destroy the Western arts but to fulfill them."


updated 1993