Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art (Paperback)
"Just as I was becoming jaded about its power, reading about her love for and her utter belief in the magic of the internet made me want to learn more about it, explore it more, use my internet skills for more than just the occasional like and Instagram post." - Sara, Book Culture Selects letter, New and Noteworthy Non-Fiction paperback, September 2017— From Book Culture Selects September Picks
Virginia Heffernan "melds the personal with the increasingly universal in a highly informative analysis of what the Internet is--and can be. A thoroughly engrossing examination of the Internet's past, present, and future" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) from one of the best living writers of English prose. This book makes a bold claim: The Internet is among mankind's great masterpieces--a massive work of art. As an idea, it rivals monotheism. But its cultural potential and its societal impact often elude us. In this deep and thoughtful book, Virginia Heffernan reveals the logic and aesthetics behind the Internet, just as Susan Sontag did for photography and Marshall McLuhan did for television. Life online, in the highly visual, social, portable, and global incarnation rewards certain virtues. The new medium favors speed, accuracy, wit, prolificacy, and versatility, and its form and functions are changing how we perceive, experience, and understand the world. In "sumptuous writing, saturated with observations that are simultaneously personal, cultural, and strikingly original" (The New Republic), Heffernan presents "a revealing look at how the Internet continues to reshape our lives emotionally, visually, and culturally" (The Smithsonian Magazine). "Magic and Loss is an illuminating guide to the Internet...it is impossible to come away from this book without sharing some of Heffernan's awe for this brave new world" (The Wall Street Journal).