The Machine in the Text, and the Text in the Machine

Critical Writing
Public Domain
Abstract (in English): 

"The Machine in the Text, and the Text in the Machine" is a review essay on Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary (University of Notre Dame, 2008) by N. Katherine Hayles, and Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (MIT Press, 2008), by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. Both works make remarkable contributions for the emerging field of literary studies and the theory of digital media. While Hayles analyses the interaction between humans and computing machines as embodied in electronic works, Kirschenbaum conceptualizes digitally at the level of inscription and establishes a social text rationale for electronic objects.

Pull Quotes: 

"Linking subjectivity with computational media is a highly contested project in which the struggle for dominance plays a central role: should the body be subject to the machine, or the machine to the body? The stakes are nothing less than whether the embodied human becomes the center for humanistic inquiry within which digital media can be understood, or whether media provide the context and ground for configuring and disciplining the body." Hayles 2008.

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