Ghost Writ—"The Invention"

"It's ALL fiction. Especially the parts that are true." (epigram, Now & Then, p. 9)

"Despite—or perhaps because of—our technological sophistication and social connection, you’re still a self-contained, self-conscious being ultimately alone in the crowd. 
'Community' is a transient reality defined by verbal ingenuity, novel forms, abbreviated exchanges, instantaneous dissemination, and immediate reaction—a place of putative authority created by ghostly instigators addressing phantom audiences. Speech becomes action and action becomes artifice for a constituency of electrified apparitions recreating and re-enacting the rhetoric of digitized affectation. The inhabitants may aspire to authenticity, even sincerely claim to possess and exhibit it, but they never get beyond verisimilitude."  (How & Why, p. 204)
  1. Or so Jacobsen claims at the conclusion of a long seminar on his book Technotopia, as he and his auditors are literally coming to terms with life in the Digital Age: Technotopia? Logotopia? Pathotopia? Digitopia? Emotitopia? 
  2. The passage also describes the "transient reality" underlying the invention of Ghost Writ, since both project and text were defined by "verbal ingenuity, novel forms, abbreviated exchanges, instantaneous dissemination, and immediate reaction." 
  3. The process of the project and the design of the book emerged from, and now embody, the essential quality of the phantom interactions that ultimately produced both.