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Digital Narrative and Experience of Time

It is often said that our relationship with time has changed in recent years. New Management strategies mean that employees feel themselves subjected to ever increasing urgency and stress. FOMO, the fear of missing out is a phenomenon inherently linked to the digital environment and its constant flow of information. The Covid-19 crisis has no doubt accentuated this tendency, with its injunction to stay connected and respond immediately to digital notifications and solicitations on a 24/7 basis. According to Paul Ricoeur (1984), “Time becomes human to the extent that it is articulated through a narrative mode, and narrative attains its […]

Language |H|as a Virus: cyberliterary inf(l)ections in pandemic times

I have frequently spoken of word and image as viruses or as acting as viruses, and this is not an allegorical comparison. -William S. Burroughs If the computer virus is a technological phenomenon cloaked in the metaphor of biology, emerging infectious diseases are a biological phenomenon cloaked in the technological paradigm. As with computer viruses, emerging infectious diseases constitute an example of a_ counterprotocol phenomenon. Alexander Galloway and Eugene Thacker, The Exploit Linguistic Inflections In Plague and the Athenian Imagination (2007), Robin Mitchell-Boyask considers the hypothesis of the Athens Plague being responsible for changes in the ways Greek tragedies came to […]
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Learning Management Platforms: Notes on Teaching “Taroko Gorge” in a Pandemic

When I first proposed this paper, I had wanted this to be a closer analysis of learning management systems and their abilities and shortcomings in encouraging non-programming students to engage with code in critical and literary ways. But, as it so often does at the end of term, the grading took its toll. Indeed, this is particularly true for me as an adjunct instructor juggling the grading for more students than I care to admit while preparing for the next term to begin. So, this paper is in some ways less of an analysis of the platforms at play, and […]
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Platforms,Tools and the Vernacular Imaginary

Vernacular digital expression is the flux of signs that make up everyday networked life: the memes, selfies, bots, loops, emojis, profiles, webcam backgrounds, email signatures and everything else. Unlike what was once called “folk art” in pre-digital cultures, vernacular digital culture will always be intimately connected with the technology companies and network infrastructure that allow digital communication to occur. The types of platforms and tools determine the types of computational and multimedia writing that takes place. “Vernacular” is appropriated here as a more generic term for the delocalized forms of everyday internet expression. In his 1981 Shadow Work, the countercultural […]

Hypertextument: reading the new Victory Garden

Victory Garden 2022, one of the latest web reconstructions of e-literary classics made by the Electronic Literature Lab, delivers a promise of yet another 20 years of exploration of this vast hypertext. Created in Storyspace and originally published in 1993 by Eastgate Systems, Stuart Moulthrop’s hypertext fiction achieved a status of a unique, literary evergreen, a wide ranging digital ouvre. The dense network of interconnected text spaces (993 lexias and over 2800 links) delivered an abundance of divergent stories that run in parallel or, sometimes, in contradiction to each other. Add to this some blind alleys and “secret” spaces, and […]
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Writing as a life form: A Review of Richard Zenith’s Pessoa: A Biography (2021)

I’m nothing. I’ll always be nothing. I can’t want to be something. But I have in me all the dreams of the world. -Álvaro de Campos, from “Tobacco Shop” (1928), All translations of Pessoa by Richard Zenith. To create, I’ve destroyed myself. I’ve so externalized myself on the inside that I don’t exist there except externally. I’m the naked stage where various actors act out various plays. -Vicente Guedes, from the Book of Disquiet (text 299, c. 1918). I’ve made myself into the character of a book, a life one reads. Whatever I feel is felt (against my will) so […]
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‘More of a performer than a listener’: Reading Hazel Smith’s Ecliptical

Hazel Smith’s latest volume of poems, Ecliptical, engages us in several ways. Attractively produced in both print and electronic formats, the book offers a journey through linguistic, sonic, and visual worlds. The title evokes the ecliptic plane, “the imaginary plane containing the Earth’s orbit around the sun”. For the Earth-bound watcher, in the course of a year, “the sun’s apparent path through the sky lies in this plane” (nasa. gov). The poet’s project is to propel earthly dwellers on paths we cannot immediately discern but must help to carve out. Our role is defined in one of the “bullet point” […]
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