I was reading this recent article in The New Yorker digital edition and was struck by how apropos it is to our class. In his article “Structure,” non-fiction author John McPhee talks about how important structure is to writing a story, but most interesting to us digital humanists, talks about how a software program called Kedit (kay edit) profoundly changed the way he structures and lays out his stories. Even when newer software became available, he stuck to his anachronistic version because it was what he knew.
“Structure” strikes me as incredibly interesting for DHers because McPhee was writing when personal computers became available, and how he documents the way it impacted his work. I found it to be one of the first instances of the digital changing the humanities. Of course, nowadays, almost every author writes using some kind of word-processor, but McPhee had to switch from his typewriter to Kedit. It’s very enlightening to those of use who have always almost had the use of a personal computer.