The authoring software tool in digital literature as a vector of the global imaginary


Digital writing necessarily requires tools, software or technology. With its constant development, the technology must be “intuitive” and easy to use, with no need for a manual. This intuitive use of the software authoring tool as a kind of universal language places it squarely in the globalization process. A question then arises: while allowing some degree of fair competition, does globalization not also entail a uniform way of producing, doing or thinking? Since the tools used by many digital authors were first developed for commercial purposes, we can ask whether this fact affects their imaginary when they write. Keeping in mind the globalized environment, I will illustrate the closed relationship in which the tools themselves make certain proposals and then anticipate certain specific practices, i.e., how globalization can structure the discourse and influence how authors think about creating their works. There is a globalized imaginary in which communications technology is becoming increasingly interconnected, and in which our imagination inevitably becomes globalized, reflecting beliefs and economic/socio-cultural structures that challenge national boundaries and shift the balance of power. Lev Manovich talks about “cultural software” (2010), while Edgar Morin recognizes the existence of a global civilization that includes standard shared values. In this perspective, I will also examine the role of free software to see whether it can give rise to new communities and modify one production model of digital writing.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    Dall’Armellina, Luc et al. (1997). oVosite, les récits voisins (accessed 09 March 2017).

  2. 2.

    GNU literally means: “GNU’s Not UNIX”. GNU is an operating system created par Richard Stallman in 1983.

  3. 3.

    “Free software” refers to software that respects the users’ freedom. Basically, this means that users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, “free software” refers to freedom, not price. To understand this concept, one should think of “free speech” rather than “free admission”. (accessed 09 March 2017).


  1. “Manifesto of the European Network for Post Development (READ)”, L’Écologiste (winter 2001–2002). Défaire le développement, refaire le monde, No.6, volume 2.

  2. Chatonsky, G. (2011). Du libre et de la liberté. Accessed 09 March 2017.

  3. Dauphin, F. (2008). Les logiciels libres: généalogie et ‘idéologies’ d’un mouvement social. Logos, 15(2), 71–85.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Hagège, C. (2011). Contre la pensée unique. Paris: Éditions Odile Jacob.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Heidegger, M. (1958). Essais et conférences. Paris: Éditions Gallimard.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Illich, I. (1973). La convivialité. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Jeanneret, Y., & Souchier, E. (1999). Pour une poétique de l’écrit d’écran. Xoana, 6, 97–107.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Jullien, F. (2012). L’écart et l’entre. Ou comment penser l’altérité. Working Papers Series No.03. Paris: Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme.

  9. Laïdi, Z. (2005). La mondialisation est aussi un imaginaire. Ceras-revue Projet (No.287).

  10. Manovich, L. (2010). Software takes command. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Marcuse, H. (1968). L’homme unidimensionnel. Paris: Éditions de Minuit.

    Google Scholar 

  12. McLuhan, M. (1962; 1967). La galaxie Gutenberg. La genèse de l’homme typographique. Montréal: Éditions Hurtubise MHM.

  13. McLuhan, M. (1964; 1968). Pour comprendre les médias. Paris: Seuil Éditions. Collection Points Essais.

  14. Nancy, J.-L. (2002). La création du monde ou la mondialisation. Paris: Éditions Galilée.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Semprini, A. (2001). Objets sans frontières. Protée, 29(1), 9–16.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Valéry, P. (1931). Regards sur le monde actuel. Paris: Librairie Stock, Delamain et Boutelleau.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Virilio, P. (2008). Penser la vitesse. Documentary film, 90 min. La Générale de Production/ARTE France.

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Odile Farge.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Farge, O. The authoring software tool in digital literature as a vector of the global imaginary. Neohelicon 44, 5–14 (2017).

Download citation


  • Digital literature
  • Authoring tool
  • Imaginary
  • Globalization