Vilém Flusser: Does Writing Have a Future? (1987/2011)

28 August 2011, dusan

“In Does Writing Have a Future?, a remarkably perceptive work first published in German in 1987, Vilém Flusser asks what will happen to thought and communication as written communication gives way, inevitably, to digital expression. In his introduction, Flusser proposes that writing does not, in fact, have a future because everything that is now conveyed in writing—and much that cannot be—can be recorded and transmitted by other means.

Confirming Flusser’s status as a theorist of new media in the same rank as Marshall McLuhan, Jean Baudrillard, Paul Virilio, and Friedrich Kittler, the balance of this book teases out the nuances of these developments. To find a common denominator among texts and practices that span millennia, Flusser looks back to the earliest forms of writing and forward to the digitization of texts now under way. For Flusser, writing—despite its limitations when compared to digital media—underpins historical consciousness, the concept of progress, and the nature of critical inquiry. While the text as a cultural form may ultimately become superfluous, he argues, the art of writing will not so much disappear but rather evolve into new kinds of thought and expression.”

Originally published in German in 1987 as Die Schrift. Hat Schreiben Zukunft?, Göttingen.
Translated by Nancy Ann Roth
Introduction by Mark Poster
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2011
Volume 33 of Electronic Mediations
ISBN 0816670234, 9780816670239
208 pages

Review: Bob Hanke (Int’l J of Communication)


PDF (updated on 2020-2-29)

6 Responses to “Vilém Flusser: Does Writing Have a Future? (1987/2011)”

  1. Flusser: Does writing have a future? « the liquid researcher on August 28, 2011 8:29 pm

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  2. gregorylent on August 28, 2011 9:22 pm

    writing is so primitive, clunky, approximate, arbitrary … there are many ways in which human consciousness can communicate that are far more subtle and accurate … this will become more obvious as the species continues to evolve.

    writing was just grunting 2.0

  3. Rokanon on February 19, 2012 12:44 am

    Could you reupload this again cos link is dead.

  4. monoskop on February 19, 2012 9:09 am

    here we go

  5. lapiz on February 29, 2020 6:16 am

    the file is not there anymore. would you upload it again please?
    thanks a lot

  6. dusan on February 29, 2020 6:30 am


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