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feuilletons and Plan B


In the recent slashdot discussion about Plan B a few people have compared it to serialized novels, also refered to as feuilletons. Some famous serialized novels include works by Dickens (Great Expectations), Tolstoy (Ana Karenin) and Joyce (A Portrait of the artist as a young man).

In the discussions on Plan B, some people have said that it's impossible to create good serialized work, or that before serializing it they must have had it written in advance. I know that this is not the case at least in the A Portrait..., a novel that contains incredible style and technique aside from being an excellent read.

At the slashdot comment related to this discussion I posted the following:

"The connection with serialized works is strong yes, but I sense the blog structure might have other things to add to it. In any case, the idea is not to replace a novel. You can't replace a print novel with anything, not an ebook, not hypertext novels, not websites. Each has its category. In blogs (as in webpages) the content mixes in part with the user interface, and this is probably where the most interesting things are to be found: how navigation changes content, and viceversa."
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It seems to me that in the 100-year period starting around 1820 (when the first serialized works appeared) it was much easier to reach a large audience through newspapers rather than through books. After all, how many people could afford a library, much less books? Newspapers, on the other hand, are cheap, and common. Also, newspapers of large distribution were a relatively new medium then, which also increased the interest of people.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on August 1 2002 at 9:09 PM

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