The Imaginary Solution

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

"[A] particular modernism has finally fully arrived, about a decade behind schedule, but making up for lost time. Part of the task of this essay is to docu- ment the emergence of this return and to provide evidence of a ten- dency that plays out across media, indexing and exemplifying one of the defining conditions of its cultural moment. Because these works fall outside the genres and styles likely to be familiar even to many readers of avant-garde literature, this documentation will require a certain degree of descriptive cataloguing (although it is worth noting that the catalogue itself, not coincidentally, is a key component of the works I will itemize). With the series of examples that follow, I further hope to show that this particular trend in contemporary literature is uniquely hinged, not only recovering one of the dreams of its literary past but also looking forward to what may be the nightmare of our digital future. This second claim, for the history of digital poetics, starts from the premise that a poem may well have a greater affinity with works from other disciplines or in other media—in this case Internet applications, software, and digital video—than with other poems. Following Lev Manovich’s insight that certain artistic forms predate the media that best accommodate them (Language 248), I will argue that these poems are proleptic: their striking forms anticipate the computerized new media that would seem to be their ideal vehicle" (30).

Teaching Resource using this Critical Writing:

Resourcesort ascending Teaching Resource Type Author Year
Digital Poetry and the Limits of Interpretation (ENGL 5559) Syllabus Lori Emerson 2010
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Jill Walker Rettberg