The semester’s second lecture was – much like the previous one – not obviously relevant to the course of Networked Media (although I couldn’t tell you confidently what that is). But, again much like the first lecture, I enjoyed it and feel that I was able to get something out of it. The activity of making a book seem like a strange object was clever, interesting and fun, if not a little tedious.
Before the tedious nature of the activity became too much, a point was raised that well and truly re-grasped my attention, setting the lecture in a much more engaging direction in the process. This point was something along the lines of the only reason for the typical length of the average novel (300-500 pages) is material based, as the book itself would become to cumbersome to read or carry. This really struck me, and made me wonder how something so simple and almost arbitrary (similar concept anyway) could affect the nature of storytelling so heavily. It also made me wonder if ebooks ever become the majorly dominant means of reading, could this typical length be gradually disregarded, or has it been too heavily ingrained in our culture. I’m leaning towards the latter, though I think it’s necessary to acknowledge the huge variations in novel sizes already, especially compared to films, which rarely stray from the 90 minute to 2 hour parameters.
Following this point, Adrian suggested that without the object of a book, stories would never have required an ending. To me, this concept was a stretch, but the discussion was engaging nonetheless, and it tied in nicely to what I guess was ‘the point’ of the lecture: the internet has changed the ways of storytelling in that no beginning or ending is required, and is generally not given.