Taking recent writings-of-internet as test cases, Stuart Moulthrop demonstrates the folly of deploying modernist compositional models, even avant-garde theories of citational and conceptual poetry recently popularized by Kenneth Goldsmith and the Flarf poets, to read born-digital writing. Though it may be fun, it's ultimately futile to interpret the contingent output of an "interface in process" as a poem existing in a fixed, terminable state. Perhaps, then, interfacing with databases is becoming integral to not just electronic literature and digital poetics but all forms of literary study and practice?
Jhave's wide-ranging history and prospectus alerts us to cognitive, material, and mythic dimensions of the nexus of image and text. By showing how text evolved into image, the essay traces a new malleability, dimensionality, and embodiment of writing. The contemporary image-text is a quasi-object with experimental literary qualities as well as an almost organic media dynamism.
In an increasingly monolingual, globalized world, the second volume of the Electronic Literature Collection may just offer a map of the territory. The question the reviewer, John Zuern, poses is how do we navigate this terrain going forward?
Rob Swigart's "Seeking" is a clever and funny story whose roots lie in the materialization of internet interdating connections. Moving through the technological and media reductions of desire, Swigart parallels the overarching theme of "seeking" with a form that is itself punctuated with questions.
With an introduction by Joseph Tabbi, this collaborative essay by Strickland and Lawson Jaramillo carries the debate into the analysis of specific poems and poetic practices, both written and spoken, graphic and sonic, alphabetically and digitally coded.
As Christian Moraru argues here that the new is still the objective in contemporary writing. But writers and artists make it by making it anew rather than new ("Get it used," Andrei Codrescu invites us), a new not so much novel as renovated, reframed and reproduced rather than produced, which by the same token redefines and advertises authorship as deliberate plagiarism.