Friday, April 17, 2015
Wrong on Wright : Google Autocorrect 'Erases' Novelist Stephen Wright
I just googled the American literary novelist Stephen Wright, and even though I spelled his name correctly, Google mistakenly autocorrected my request and produced a results page for the comedian Steven Wright--homophonous name, very different guy. (The novelist has more metal on his face.) I'm a fan of both Wrights, but it's damned annoying to go looking for info on an extraordinary novelist and be channeled to stand-up comedy's deadest pan. One must type the phrase 'Stephen Wright novelist' to find information on the author of Meditations in Green, Going Native and The Amalgamation Polka. Type just the man's name, and you'll find yourself staring at Gilbert Gottfried on horse tranqs. Were I in a grumpier mood, I'd call this yet another sign of cultural decline, literary apocalypse, Brunnhilde riding a horse made of Penguin Classics into an unrefining, unregenerating fire--but it's simply another example of the most powerful search engine on the web erasing literary culture and replacing it with the Jimmy Fallon kind.