Enquire Within Upon Everything

“Enquire Within Upon Everything.” Paris Review. 190 (Fall 2009).  Reprinted in Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts, edited by Thomas Bartscherer and Roderick Coover. University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Description from The Best American Nonrequired Reading: “This story is a hypothetical chronicle of a boy’s life in the shadow of the internet age. The protagonist, an unnamed boy, grows up in a time when social interactions are increasingly subsumed by rapidly advancing technologies. At first, many of the technologies the boy uses are familiar to us, but as the story progresses, the ways he exists and interacts with people become more synthetic and strange. Towards the end of his life, the boy ultimately becomes dependent upon his virtual life and social networks. The title of the story refers to a book published in 1856 that was meant to provide encyclopedic information on all aspects of civic life. The precursor to the World Wide Web, “ENQUIRE,” was reportedly named for this book.”

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