Lessing gears up against internet ''dumbing down'' effect

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Melbourne, Dec 11 (UNI) Railing against the internet technology, nobel laureate Doris Lessing has said it has ''seduced a whole generation into its inanities'' and created a world where people know nothing.

Ms Lessing, who won this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, lamented the apparent discrepancy in the hunger for books between developing countries like Zimbabwe and the rest of the world.

Comparing her visits to resource-deprived schools in Zimbabwe, where students begged her for books and read using labels on jam jars, she said teachers complained that many students in North London never read books at all and the library was only half used, The Age reported.

Ms Lessing said, ''Internet changed the life to such an extent that even reasonable people will confess that, once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging etc.'' ''In order to write, in order to make literature, there must be a close connection with libraries, books, the tradition,'' she said.

As people increasingly obtained their information from the internet, a ''treasure-house of literature'', going back to ancient times, was being ignored.

In the recent past, singer Elton John had lambasted the web for stifling creativity and even called for it to be shut down.

Similarly, author Andrew Keen argued in his new book, 'The Cult of the Amateur', that the internet was ''killing culture and assaulting economics''.

''Anyone can use their networked computers to publish everything from uninformed political commentary, unseemly home videos, to embarrassingly amateurish music, unreadable poems, reviews, essays, and novels,'' the author wrote in the book.

UNI

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