(This article involves a prelude that I insist you read.)
It’s important to understand that technology does not, and will not for a long time to come, replace emotional expression and emotional honesty, and that’s where I think the great Quentin Tarantino could be wrong. He once famously stated that,
“You can’t write poetry on a computer.”
I appreciate his loyalty to the ideals of romanticism but, looking at it axiomatically, he chose to say “computer” and not anything else (although don’t ask me what “anything else” could be). What does a computer do to effectively reduce the “poeticness” of a poem? What is it about an electronically supplied numerical input and an electromagnetically generated visual output that is beaten by a leaky fountain pen and paper that crumbles at the lightest touch-or should I say that it is a matter of individual investment and computers limit that when they shouldn’t? I don’t agree. If anything, typewriters and computers make it easier to compose real poetry: poetry that is completely independent of its medium, poetry that finds it rational to reflect only the literary prowess and emotional content of the individual (objective) and not his/her association with the oldest form of literary communication (subjective).
Poetry, you see, is an abstraction just like beauty and justice are, and if Tarantino thinks he can’t find them in a computer or only on a piece of paper, then it’s also unfortunately obvious that his films are a product of iconoclastic ideals and the chance of the occasion that I was to be born in 1988, and that doesn’t happen often.
Our individual attitude towards technology does not change the way technology itself behaves; it only changes how much we think it can do for us when we take to it-and this applies even to the tech that is constantly being upgraded and modified to satiate different needs. Similarly, poetry that requires a “non-computer” to be realized is not poetry but what we think is poetry: it is subjective interpretation, one that fails in the face of the slightest opposition, and therefore cannot withstand the test of time.