Digital culture, are we apocalyptic or integrated? To dissolve the famous dualism of Umberto Eco, does the area of “no longer read as it used to be” prevails or the motion “has never been read and written as much as it is now”, between smartphones and social networks? Claudio Calveri tries to give an answer with the essay “Digital Narrations” (Bibliographic publishing, page 158, 19 euro). Neapolitan, 45 years old, journalist and writer, today he mainly deals with communication strategies for companies and is the curator of the candidacy of Naples as a Unesco “City of Literature”.
The essay soon goes to analyze the scenarios from the point of view of the book: whether it is preferable in its historical guise, almost intrinsically insuperable because “the volume is released from its physical form”, and because it would be superior from the point of view of training and the transmission of knowledge. But taking into account the undoubted advantages, especially ecological ones, of the digital format: a library of traditional books, Calveri writes, weighs 2 tons, the same amount of e-books as a billionth of a billionth of a gram.
“Vaste problème”. The author, who also wrote his essay in print, does not establish preferences but chooses what to talk about, deepening the narrative in the digital age at every stage, from the author to the publication. Drawing, just to reiterate that he is still within classical culture, from the categories of the history of thought: if we are in the era of “online logos”, however, each author must take into account the three passages of Aristotelian rhetoric, “the founding principles of a virtuous public personality: the logos, understood as a message advocated and supported; the ethos, that is an image consistent with the message and the motivation and legitimacy in supporting it; and pathos, understood as the ability to choose and use a credible and coherent language ”he writes.
The essay, or manual, continues by taking into consideration the various parts of the process that leads to the edition: the formats beyond the ebook, between audiobooks and podcasts. Marketing, from online promotion to self-publishing and crowfunding. And the design, also the narrative one, with examples on the use of lucky titles (Murakami, “Norwegian wood”) adopted by other authors to summarize and convey their own texts. Until the conclusion: “The written word definitively enters a wider context, full of opportunities and challenges. The narrative evolves, integrating different languages in a fluid environment and at the same time tied to rigid rules “.