|writing machines||n. katherine hayles||anne burdick||erik loyer|
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
"Writing Machines is a major addition to the scholarship
on hypertext and, in general, on the relation of technology to literature.
As this volume so clearly demonstrates, Hayles is a subtle reader of texts,
a knowledgeable critic of new technology, and a fine theorist of culture...
I am certain readers of Writing Machines will place it near the
top of their list of books on hypertext."
"In the age of the immaterial, Writing Machines compellingly
argues that all forms of literature are inescapably material. Through
Burdick's melding of graphic evidence and Hayles' weaving of critical
and biographical perspectives, Writing Machines deftly embodies its subject
while disrupting our expectations about academic publishing."
"Kate Hayles reads with real attention and attention to the real,
attending to electronic literature and hybrid verbal/visual forms with
an eye to the materiality and mediality at their heart."
An extension of the book, the Writing Machines Web Supplement includes the lexicon linkmap, notes, index, bibliography, errata, and source material. The reader/user can explore alternative mappings of the book's conceptual terrain with additional functionalities unavailable in print, then print insert pages to customize the book itself.
Writing Machines is the second volume in the Mediawork Pamphlet series.
spreads from the
book with the
visit the WebTake...
|This pamphlet can be purchased online from MIT Press, Amazon and good bookstores.|