Andrew Klobucar argues that a new iPad app for The Waste Land demonstrates, despite the developer's intentions and Eliot's fears, that the symbolic form of the database is irrepressible. According to Klobucar, Eliot bemoans the cultural impact of new media and technological innovation, though his poem--particularly through Pound's editorial notes and Eliot's added annotations--employs the structure of a database. The app for The Waste Land attempts to mitigate this tension by promoting a single legitimate version of the poem, though the app's structure ultimately works against that model, as it frees readers from the imposed authority of singular narrative.
Can a corporate-dominated Web become an environment conducive to literary activity? The novelist, essayist, and cultural critic Curtis White is skeptical. Responding to criticisms of his account of the devolution of literary publishing and reflecting on the prevalence of market-driven values in online exchanges, White doubts whether literature can distinguish itself in the noisy new media ecology, which he likens to a high-tech prison house.
Walton Muyumba reviews two books: Michael Soto's The Modernist Nation: Generation, Renaissance and American Literature (2004) and Manuel Martinez's Countering the Counterculture: Rereading Postwar American Dissent from Jack Kerouac to Tomás Rivera (2003).