Digital Modernism: Making It New in New Media

Overview


Digital Modernism examines how and why some of the most innovative works of online electronic literature adapt and allude to literary modernism. Digital literature has been celebrated as a postmodern form that grows out of contemporary technologies, subjectivities, and aesthetics, but this book provides an alternative genealogy. Exemplary cases show electronic literature looking back to modernism for inspiration and source material (in content, form, and ideology) through which to critique contemporary culture. ...
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Overview


Digital Modernism examines how and why some of the most innovative works of online electronic literature adapt and allude to literary modernism. Digital literature has been celebrated as a postmodern form that grows out of contemporary technologies, subjectivities, and aesthetics, but this book provides an alternative genealogy. Exemplary cases show electronic literature looking back to modernism for inspiration and source material (in content, form, and ideology) through which to critique contemporary culture. In so doing, this literature renews and reframes, rather than rejects, a literary tradition that it also reconfigures to center around media. To support her argument, Pressman pairs modernist works by Pound, Joyce, and Bob Brown, with major digital works like William Poundstone's "Project for the Tachistoscope: [Bottomless Pit]" (2005), Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries's Dakota, and Judd Morrissey's The Jew's Daughter. With each pairing, she demonstrates how the modernist movement of the 1920s and 1930s laid the groundwork for the innovations of electronic literature. In sum, the study situates contemporary digital literature in a literary genealogy in ways that rewrite literary history and reflect back on literature's past, modernism in particular, to illuminate the crucial role that media played in shaping the ambitions and practices of that period.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A pioneering study with brilliant readings of important works of digital literature, Digital Modernism is a landmark work of literary criticism, a must-read for anyone interested in how contemporary literature fares in the digital domain." --N. Katherine Hayles, author of How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis

"In this lucid, informed, and consequential book, Jessica Pressman enacts the strategy she theorizes. To argue that writing moves forward by looking back, she repurposes print-based critical practices of close reading to parse a pixel-based creativity she calls 'digital modernism.' This exhilarating spin draws McLuhan, Pound, and Joyce into the contemporary making of the new." --Adalaide Morris, author of New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories

"Pressman's wonderfully elegant close readings show us how to engage some of the most complex creative works of our moment, even as they help us see literary modernism anew. A book for both established scholars and a new generation of critics, Digital Modernism superbly prescribes the terms for the study of electronic literature." --Rita Raley, author of Tactical Media

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199937103
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/31/2014
  • Series: Modernist Literature and Culture Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jessica Pressman is a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, San Diego.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1 - Close Reading: Marshall McLuhan, From Modernism to Media Studies
Chapter 2 - Reading Machines: Machine Poetry and Excavatory Reading in William Poundstone's Electronic Literature and Bob Brown's Readies
Chapter 3 - Speed Reading: Super-Position and Simultaneity in Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries's Dakota and Ezra Pound's Cantos
Chapter 4 - Reading the Database: Narrative, Database, and Stream of Consciousness
Chapter 5 - Reading Code: The Hallucination of Universal Language from Modernism to Cyberspace
Coda - Rereading: Digital Modernism in Print, Mark Z. Danielewski's Only Revolutions

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