Twenty-first Century Epistolarity and The Truth About Email

Jolly, Margaretta (2008) Twenty-first Century Epistolarity and The Truth About Email. In: Morao, P (ed.) Escrever A Vida: Verdade e Ficcao [Autobiography: Truth or Fiction?]. Campo Das Letras Press, pp. 115-138. ISBN 9789896253073

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But dont you know that the art of letter writing is dying? It seems that any talk about letters these days provokes lament for the lost country of proper address in the age of electronic mail. Yet how far is this nostalgia based on an accurate perception of what either email or letter writing entails? An analysis of key features of each genre shows far more overlap than is commonly imagined. In this brief paper, I argue that email is a very different object to letter writing, yet not necessarily for the reasons that many believe. Email is not a degraded form of letter, but one element in a new digital economy of writing, an economy that has unsettled traditional grounds for identity and trust. In this light, I will address the question of textual truth, which so stimulates the study of life writings generally, in relation to what we might call e-epistolarity.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Centre for Community Engagement
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research
Depositing User: Margaretta Jolly
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:45
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2018 15:58
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