A timely revaluation of Hugo Gernsback, the Luxembourgish-American tinkerer who regarded science fiction not merely as a literary form or fantastic escape, but also, according to Grant Wythoff, as a way for readers to interact with and reflect on media and (not least) to know where tools can be found to gather knowledge on their own. More of a community of tinkerers than a literary movement or social media network, Gernsback's early and amateurish engagements with technology can help us to gauge what is lost in the transition to corporatist black boxery.
Aquilna reflects on the reflections in Callus and da Silva's "Strange Metapaper."
Without anonymous peer review, there can be no formal recognition of literary scholarship, and ebr is no exception. That said, our journal looks for occasions to turn our confidential reports into public riPOSTes, if the reviewer is so inclined. In this essay, our colleagues from Coimbra, Manuel Portela and Ana Marques da Silva, stage reflections on the peer reviews that their own scholarly work has generated, in earlier submissions to other peer review outlets. The "metapaper" that results, is a further step in the initiative not to do away with peer review, but to bring the process into the public sphere.
Cayley's book, Grammalepsy, is the first in the Bloomsbury series on Electronic Literature, due out this year (2018). A symptom of language whose therapeutic potentialities are passed over by commercial digitization, the term “Grammalepsy” suggests a lapse in designation. Cayley's book can remind us of the generative difference in any act of signification, in writing on a page no less than coding on silicon. There is no reason why the latter, so different from our neurological circuits, should be any better than any other conventional designation at encapsulating and communicating thought. The fact that literary theorists (and also digital makers like Cayley) place their work and thought self-consciously in the margins of what is now a digital consensus, suggests the presence of a long-standing (and continuing) literary counter-history to the Digital Humanities, that are too often characterized by datafication, single-entendre designation, and instrumentalist tendencies.
Agreeing that translation studies does well to address questions of transcoding, Nick Montfort further extends the project advocated by Maria Mencia, Soeren Pold, Manuel Portela (and our first respondent, Belgian Poet Laueate Jan Baetans). A look at explorations of the topic in early e-lit turns up longstanding interests in the translinguistic, transcreational, the metrical, material, and contextual. Montfort offers this itemization not just to enlarge a specific list and topology for translation studies, but to show that the concept of literary translation almost certainly needs to be exploded and reworked.
In a paper presented at the “Arabic Electronic Literature" conference in Dubai (February, 2018), N. Katherine Hayles considers born digital writing as a cognitive assemblage of technical devices and readerly, interpretive activity.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at Electronic Literature, or, A Print Essai on Tone in Electronic Literature, 1.0
This essay has been reprinted from the journal CounterText (2.2) by permission of Edinburgh University Press.
Riposte to Jan Baetens, Photo Narratives and Digital Archives, or The Film Photo Novel Lost and Found
In response to Baetans's essay, David Roh sees an occasion for moving digital literary studies beyond the archive toward a a living repository of anarchistic, ongoing communitarian activity with a "resurgent cultural impact."
A post-humanist critique of Rockwell and Berendt's all too Humanist essay, in the vein of Donna Haraway’s “Keeping with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Cthulucene” (2016) and Patricia MacCormack’s “Posthuman Ethics” (2012).
In response to Mencia, Pold, and Portela, Belgian poet and scholar Jan Baetans suggests that we might view the field of trans-medial literature as an offshoot of translation studies (and not the reverse). In any case, whether we approach e-lit from a medial or linguistic standpoint, scholars do well to observe a "merger of translation and adaptation studies."
A first draft of this essay was presented at the 2017 ELO Conference at Porto, in a panel organized by the "Nar-Trans" group of the University of Granada.
Instead of simply reviewing Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett (Duke 2010), author Dale Enggass applies Bennett's "Political Ecology of Things" to longstanding (and not yet resolved) themes of salvation, materialism and transcendence in Melville's Moby-Dick and Pamela Lu's Ambient Parking Lot.
Even as the first biography of Kathy Acker appears, we have word of a newly assembled Acker archive in Cologne, under the curatorship of Daniel Schulz. The gist of which, could be to re-orient Acker's personal relationships to "the politics inherent in Acker's life."
"[T]ranslation is merely a preliminary way of coming to terms with the foreignness of languages to each other." (Walter Benjamin, "The Task of the Translator" )