Monumental Novels: Big Books in Times of Big Data

The last MAP Lecture of this series, will be on Wednesday 25th of April (17:00-18:30) in LIPSIUS 236, with Inge van de Ven’s

Monumental Novels: Big Books in Times of Big Data (Tilburg University)

What do the works of the authors Roberto Bolaño, Karen Tei Yamashita, Karl Ove Knausgard, Mark Z. Danielewski and books artists like Irma Boom have in common?  The answer is not genre, geographical background, or thematic orientations, but rather: material characteristics of weight, length, bulk, size, and number of pages.  In this talk, literary and media scholar Inge van de Ven (Tilburg University) addresses contemporary big books and novels in terms of the shift from the bound book  to the newer materialities of the digital. Through an analysis of characteristics like hybridity, slowness, mediacy, and materiality, she examines big books’ bulk, their  affective powers, and their ability to inhabit spaces, as part and parcel of their ways of making sense of our experiences in and of a changing media-landscape.  She argues that monumental novels and big books make a double gesture of adaptation to, and provocation of, the shift to digital media and the ideologies of big data.

For more info on the series and our previous speakers, see here: MAP Lecture Leiden.