Writing Machines

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Tracing a journey from the 1950s through the 1990s, N. Katherine Hayles uses the autobiographical persona of Kaye to explore how literature has transformed itself from inscriptions rendered as the flat durable marks of print to the dynamic images of CRT screens, from verbal texts to the diverse sensory modalities of multimedia works, from books to technotexts.

Weaving together Kaye's pseudo-autobiographical narrative with a theorization of contemporary literature in media-specific terms, Hayles examines the ways in which literary texts in every genre and period mutate as they are reconceived and rewritten for electronic formats. As electronic documents become more pervasive, print appears not as the sea in which we swim, transparent because we are so accustomed to its conventions, but rather as a medium with its own assumptions, specificities, and inscription practices. Hayles explores works that focus on the very inscription technologies that produce them, examining three writing machines in depth: Talan Memmott's groundbreaking electronic work Lexia to Perplexia, Mark Z. Danielewski's cult postprint novel House of Leaves, and Tom Phillips's artist's book A Humument. Hayles concludes by speculating on how technotexts affect the development of contemporary subjectivity.

(Source: Publisher's description)

Designed by Anne Burdick.

Writing Machines cover

Critical writing that references this:

Title Author Publisher Year
Approaches to Digital Literature: Temporal Dynamics and Cyborg Authors Raine Koskimaa Transcript 2010
Arte Digital: Pixel, Algoritmo, Código, Programação e Dados Álvaro Seiça idearte 2011
Aurature and the End(s) of Electronic Literature John Cayley 2015
Born Digital: Writing Poetry in the Age of New Media Maria Engberg 2007
Collaborative Reading Praxis Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Jessica Pressman Electronic Book Review (ebr) 2020
Command Lines: Aesthetics and Technique in Interactive Fiction and New Media Jeremy Douglass 2007
Conditions of Presence: Topological Complementarities in The Silent History David M. Meurer Paradoxa 2017
Digital Art and Meaning: Reading Kinetic Poetry, Text Machines, Mapping Art, and Interactive Installations Roberto Simanowski University of Minnesota Press 2011
Digital Media Scott Rettberg, Jill Walker Rettberg Modern Language Association (MLA) 2010
Electronic Literature Scott Rettberg Polity 2018
Following Paths of Electronic Literature Zuzana Husárová Journal of Writing in Creative Practice 2011
Hypertext in the Attic: The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Writing Andreas Kitzmann 2011
Modeling Literature: How Generative Literature Produces Literature Anew Hannah Ackermans 2016
Next Generation Literary Machines: The “Dynamic Network Aesthetic” of Contemporary Poetry Generators Holly Dupej 2012
Písanie v interaktívnych médiách. Digitálna fikcia /Writing in the Interactive Media. Digital Fiction Zuzana Husárová 2009
Reading Writing Interfaces: From the Digital to the Bookbound Lori Emerson University of Minnesota Press 2014
Repetition and Recombination: Reading Network Fiction David Ciccoricco 2005
Talan Memmott's "Lexia to Perplexia" Thomas Dreher Dichtung Digital 2005
Technotexuality: An Interview with N. Katherine Hayles and Anne Burdick Jessica Pressman, N. Katherine Hayles, Anne Burdick The MIT Press 2002
Tekstspill i hypertekst. Koherensopplevelse og sjangergjenkjennelse i lesing av multimodale hyperfiksjoner Hans Kristian Rustad 2008
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Eric Dean Rasmussen