Matthew G. Kirschenbaum: Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing (2016)

30 July 2018, dusan

“The story of writing in the digital age is every bit as messy as the ink-stained rags that littered the floor of Gutenberg’s print shop or the hot molten lead of the Linotype machine. During the period of the pivotal growth and widespread adoption of word processing as a writing technology, some authors embraced it as a marvel while others decried it as the death of literature. The product of years of archival research and numerous interviews conducted by the author, Track Changes is the first literary history of word processing.

Matthew Kirschenbaum examines how the interests and ideals of creative authorship came to coexist with the computer revolution. Who were the first adopters? What kind of anxieties did they share? Was word processing perceived as just a better typewriter or something more? How did it change our understanding of writing?

Track Changes balances the stories of individual writers with a consideration of how the seemingly ineffable act of writing is always grounded in particular instruments and media, from quills to keyboards. Along the way, we discover the candidates for the first novel written on a word processor, explore the surprisingly varied reasons why writers of both popular and serious literature adopted the technology, trace the spread of new metaphors and ideas from word processing in fiction and poetry, and consider the fate of literary scholarship and memory in an era when the final remnants of authorship may consist of folders on a hard drive or documents in the cloud.”

Publisher Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016
ISBN 9780674417076, 0674417070
xvi+344+[16] pages
via slowrotation

Reviews: Brian Dillon (The Guardian, 2016), Jessica Pressman (ALH Online Reviews, 2016), Eric Banks (Bookforum, 2016), Dylan Hicks (LA Review of Books, 2016), Kirkus Reviews (2016), Francis Russell (Hong Kong Review of Books, 2016), A. Bowdoin Van Riper (PopMatters, 2016), Leann Davis Alspaugh (Hedgehog Review, 2016), Thomas Padilla (American Archivist, 2017), Lai-Tze Fan (Papers of The Bibliographical Society of Canada, 2017), Seth Erickson (Interactions, 2017), David Walden (TUGboat, 2017), Grant Wythoff (Revista Hispánica Moderna, 2018), Elena Spadini (Umanistica Digitale, 2018).

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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).

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Friedrich Kittler: The Truth of the Technological World: Essays on the Genealogy of Presence (2013/2014) [DE, EN]

15 December 2014, dusan

“Few German scholars in the past 50 years have had such a lasting impact on the cultural situation of our time, including its academic institutions, as Friedrich Kittler. It is in large part due to his writings that the radio, the gramophone, and the computer are not just objects of cultural fascination, but also of philosophical reflection.

This volume contains a collection of essays written by Kittler over the course of 40 years which serve as a testament to the enormous breadth, intensity, and the singular creativity of his thought.”

German edition
Edited and with an Afterword by Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Publisher Suhrkamp, Berlin, 2013
ISBN 9783518732984
432 pages

English edition
Translated by Erik Butler
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2014
ISBN 9780804792622
400 pages

Publisher: DE, EN
Worldcat: DE, EN

Die Wahrheit der technischen Welt (EPUB), EPUB (German)
The Truth of the Technological World (EPUB), EPUB (English)

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