E-readers: the possibilities for writers

At the Kenyon Review blog David F. Smydra Jr. ponders the double-screened laptop and gives a gentle wrist slap to those of us who have been speculating about e-readers and the future of reading. I plead guilty as charged, Your Honour. More important, he thinks, is the future of writing. Well worth a read:

So maybe we shouldn’t spend as much time asking which technologies readers will embrace – “Will we ever love the e-book?” or “Will we read magazines on our phones?” — as which technologies artists will employ to better transmit their work. If a writer knows that she could display her words digitally, and hyperlink the footnotes to appear in a Kindle’s second screen (for instance), or if the next generation’s Kurt Vonnegut knew he could insert animation into the text instead of line doodles, then couldn’t that push forward the art? Imagine a poem written with a specific musical harmony intended to play in the background. Or a novel with different narrative threads intended to display on side-by-side screens at different junctures in the story.