On the Possibility of a Text That Is Not Digital

Critical Writing
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

This twenty-minute paper builds toward the following provocation: it is no longer possible for a text not to be digital. Considering both existing and invented definitions of digital textuality, this paper frames (again!) various discussions of the nature of digital (and "electronic) texts, examining in digital texts their materialities and temporalities, their associated modes of composition and reception, their most evident differences from traditional texts, and their claims to both digital-ness and to textuality. Selecting key features from this analysis, I conclude that the digitalness of a text relates to the way in which it opens (and closes) certain possibilities of reading and other actions. Google's Book project, numerous digital library efforts, and even devices for digitizing business cards attest to the drive to make all texts digital. But, I suggest, even beyond these current events, we have come to understand the very idea of a text already in terms of its possibilities and thus as already digital or potentially digital. What room is left for another, non-digital notion of textuality to present itself?

(Source: Author's introduction)

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Thor Baukhol Madsen