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:

Titlesort ascending Author Publisher Year
“Iteration, you see”: Floating Text and Chaotic Reading/Viewing in slippingglimpse. Gwen Le Cor Electronic Book Review (ebr) 2013
Travels in Cybertextuality. The Challenge of Ergodic Literature and Ludology to Literary Theory Markku Eskelinen 2009
Transformative Reading and Writing Synthetic Archives with Language Models Jonathan Gallagher 2021
Towards Network Narrative: Electronic Literature, Communication Technologies, and Cultural Production David M. Meurer Dichtung Digital 2012
Topdown Digital Literature: The Effects of Institutional Collaborations and Communities Yra van Dijk Dichtung Digital 2012
The Time of Digital Poetry: From Object to Event N. Katherine Hayles The MIT Press 2006
The Paratexts of Inanimate Alice: Thresholds, Genre Expectations and Status Gavin Stewart Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 2010
The Monstrous Book and the Manufactured Body in the Late Age of Print John M. Vincler Dichtung Digital 2010
The Metainterface: The art of platforms, cities and clouds Søren Bro Pold, Christian Ulrik Andersen The MIT Press 2018
Tekstspill i hypertekst. Koherensopplevelse og sjangergjenkjennelse i lesing av multimodale hyperfiksjoner Hans Kristian Rustad 2008
Technotexuality: An Interview with N. Katherine Hayles and Anne Burdick Jessica Pressman, N. Katherine Hayles, Anne Burdick The MIT Press 2002
Talan Memmott's "Lexia to Perplexia" Thomas Dreher Dichtung Digital 2005
Repetition and Recombination: Reading Network Fiction David Ciccoricco 2005
Reading Writing Interfaces: From the Digital to the Bookbound Lori Emerson University of Minnesota Press 2014
Písanie v interaktívnych médiách. Digitálna fikcia /Writing in the Interactive Media. Digital Fiction Zuzana Husárová 2009
Next Generation Literary Machines: The “Dynamic Network Aesthetic” of Contemporary Poetry Generators Holly Dupej 2012
Modeling Literature: How Generative Literature Produces Literature Anew Hannah Ackermans 2016
Hypertext in the Attic: The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Writing Andreas Kitzmann 2011
Following Paths of Electronic Literature Zuzana Husárová Journal of Writing in Creative Practice 2011
Electronic Literature Scott Rettberg Polity 2018
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Eric Dean Rasmussen