Real life as inspiration for literature: Does the Internet change the rules?

imageHow will the Net affect literature based on life?

That’s what many of the most memorable books are, from This Side of Paradise to Thomas Wolfe’s autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel.

In what ways would Wolfe’s fiction have been different in the Facebook era?

The bad: Some writers may feel more inhibited. The people they’re writing about have more chances of finding out what the authors are up to.

image The good: More opportunities for research, even on topics close to home. So much more may come out on the Net than from traditional paper sources alone—whether about people, cities or industries.

Your own thoughts?

Related: Jim Shepard on the subject of fiction based on non-fiction, in The Outlet, a new blog from Electric Literature on “Reading, Writing & Pubishing.” Also see earlier EL mentions in the TeleBlog.

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About David Rothman (6820 Articles)
David Rothman is the founder and publisher of the TeleRead e-book site and cofounder of He is also author of The Solomon Scandals novel and six tech-related books on topics ranging from the Internet to laptops. Passionate on digital divide issues, he is now pushing for the creation of a national digital library endowment.

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