Dennis Tenen: Plain Text: The Poetics of Computation (2017)

5 August 2017, dusan

“This book challenges the ways we read, write, store, and retrieve information in the digital age. Computers—from electronic books to smart phones—play an active role in our social lives. Our technological choices thus entail theoretical and political commitments. Dennis Tenen takes up today’s strange enmeshing of humans, texts, and machines to argue that our most ingrained intuitions about texts are profoundly alienated from the physical contexts of their intellectual production. Drawing on a range of primary sources from both literary theory and software engineering, he makes a case for a more transparent practice of human–computer interaction. Plain Text is thus a rallying call, a frame of mind as much as a file format. It reminds us, ultimately, that our devices also encode specific modes of governance and control that must remain available to interpretation.”

Publisher Stanford University Press, 2017
ISBN 9781503601802, 1503601803
x+268 pages

Review: Jan Baetens (Leonardo, 2017), James Edward Draney (LARB, 2017).



Sean Pryor, David Trotter (eds.): Writing, Medium, Machine: Modern Technographies (2016)

10 November 2016, dusan

“This is a collection of thirteen scholarly essays which explores the mutual determination of forms of writing and forms of technology in modern literature. The essays unfold from a variety of historical and theoretical perspectives the proposition that literature is not less but more mechanical than other forms of writing: a transfigurative ideal machine. The collection unearths representations in literature and film of a whole range of decisive technologies from the stereopticon through census-and slot-machines to the stock ticker, and from the Telex to the manipulation of genetic code and the screens which increasingly mediate our access to the world and to each other. It also investigates concepts which articulate the relation between writing and technology: number, measure, encoding, encryption, the archive, the interface.”

Contributors: Ruth Abbott, John Attridge, Kasia Boddy, Mark Byron, Beci Carver, Steven Connor, Esther Leslie, Robbie Moore, Julian Murphet, James Purdon, Sean Pryor, Paul Sheehan, Kristen Treen.

Publisher Open Humanities Press, 2016
Technographies series
Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 License
ISBN 9781785420061
223 pages


PDF (updated on 2016-11-12, with bookmarks, metadata and compressed, via Malcolm Dean, 2 MB)
PDF (from publisher, 3 MB)

Susanne Knaller (ed.): Realität und Wirklichkeit in der Moderne. Texte zu Literatur, Kunst, Fotografie und Film (2013) [German]

1 August 2015, dusan

An online anthology of 78 theoretical and philosophical texts from the last two centuries presenting a range of conceptions of the reality, in particular exploring the ambiguity of the German notions of Realität and Wirklichkeit. The website also allows reading of the texts through occurrences of 40 selected concepts.

Maintained by Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Open Access

Texts (HTML)