Digital Modernism

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

A prominent strategy in some works of contemporary electronic literature is the appropriation and adaptation of literary modernism, what I call "digital modernism." This paper examines digital modernism as a strategy relevant to rethinking not only the origins of electronic literature but the ways in which we discuss and understand the field of electronic literature in general. I examine Bob Brown's Readies machine (circa 1930), an avant-garde attempt to speed up text and thus transform literature and reading practices, in relation to works of electronic literature by Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries and William Poundstone. These contemporary works employ Flash to create a flashing aesthetic that resonates with Brown's goals for the Readies. Situating electronic literature within this forgotten but distinctly literary history of machine-based textual experimentation exposes the importance of reading today's new, new media literature in relation to the a movement from the early decades of the twentieth century which sought to "make it new" in the new media of its time.

Platforms referenced:

Title Developers Year initiated
Flash 1996
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Record posted by: 
Scott Rettberg