The “Post-literature or the future of culture in the digital era” virtual dialogue took place on December 2 at the “Education” section of the V St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum. The transformation of literature into new forms and formats, the situation on the book market and the level of reading culture – these and other issues were discussed by famous writers and experts.
“Now the book business is turbulent, circulation decreases, - said the director of development, branding and PR of the “ACT” publishing house Marina Abramova. – We fall back in terms of the number of books read in Europe by ten times. The average run is 3500, posts in social networks get more likes than that. Currently the book market is growing, mostly thanks to national literature, and the illegal electronic market constitutes 3-5% of the total”.
“Long novels haven’t been forgotten, they prosper along with short stories, posts in blogs and anecdotes, -said Andrey Astvatsaturov, writer, associate professor of Saint Petersburg State University. – However we have indicated decreasing demand for intellectual novels, the customer prefers light reading”.
“The reader doesn’t want to know about cultural phenomena, he wants to see the reflection of the reality in himself, he wants to feel empathy”, - said the executive director of the Rambler & Co media group of Alexey Goreslavsky. “Some time has to pass for a new author to be recognized. His work has to meet criteria for style and actuality. It’s hard to stay popular for a long time”, - he said.
The president of the “Academy of Russian Television” Alexander Akopov pointed out that today TV-series are becoming a sort of literature. There are novel-series (long stories), there are collections of stories (the same characters in different situations/adventures) and feature-length films. The script is also literature, though rather unusual.
Akopov said, that today is the “sand time” of literature: “There’s no character, conflict, plot or situation, in which we can recognize life. Though there’s a lot of satire and discontent with the reality, the genre of accusations”.
“We are living in the era of visual pivot of our way of thinking, - said Gintautas Mazheikis, head of the department of social and political theory of the faculty of political studies and diplomacy of the University of Vytautas Magnus. – New electronic devices appear. In this atmosphere literature has to struggle for its survival. The market of attention is the inertness of consuming and reading. Today you’ll be remember, and tomorrow you won’t. New time is coming, and we haven’t adjusted to it yet”.
Despite the ongoing transformations, high literature, according to the participants of the event, will remain eternal. Numerous new formats for reading will appear, which is a great space for authors’ creativity and experiments.