Green-Screeners: Locating the Literary History of Word Processing

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Abstract (in English): 

“I suppose that my fiction will be word-processed by association, though I myself will not become a green-screener,” John Barth told the Paris Review in 1985. But just a few years later he did, not only switching to a word processor but exploring the machine as a subject in subsequent fiction. This lecture, drawn from my forthcoming book Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, interweaves a narrative of word processing’s introduction to the literary world–we will see that Barth’s story, both his abrupt turn-around and his fear of guilt by association is typical–with a consideration of practical problems in doing research at the intersection of literary and technological history, especially the changing nature of the archive as primary source material becomes itself “born-digital.” Along the way we will take a look at Stephen King’s Wang, John Updike’s trash, and the 200-pound writing machine that produced the first word processed novel in English.

(Source: ELD 2015)

Critical writing that references this:

Title Author Publisher Year
Biblio Unbound Johanna Drucker 2015
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Alvaro Seica