Disruptive Technology

Social Media from Modiano to Zola and Proust

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Elizabeth Emery Montclair State University emerye@mail.montclair.edu

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In this article, Patrick Modiano’s 2014 Nobel Prize acceptance speech serves as a springboard to consider the lieu commun that “disruptive technology” is killing both literature and the contemporary press. Modiano’s depiction of himself as part of an “intermediate generation,” trapped between the intense focus of great nineteenth-century novelists and the many distractions of contemporary writers, cleverly invoked millennial anxieties related to new technology in order to establish his own place within literary history.

Contributor Notes

Elizabeth Emery is Professor of French at Montclair State University where she teaches medieval and nineteenth-century French literature and culture. She is the author of books, articles, and essay anthologies related to the reception of medieval art and architecture in nineteenth-century France and America, and has recently published volumes exploring the links between early photography, journalism, and celebrity culture: Photojournalism and the Origins of the French Writer House Museum (1881–1914) (2012), just out in French translation, and En toute intimité… Quand la presse people de la Belle Époque s’invitait chez les célébrités (2015).

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