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.
Jussi Parikka interviews artist Zoe Beloff about her relationship to the emerging set of interdisciplinary theories and methodologies known as media archaeology. In way of response, Beloff discusses some past works, including: Lost (1995), Shadow Land (2000), Claire and Don in Slumberland (2002), Charming Augustine (2005), The Somnambulists (2008), and The Dream Films (2009).
In The American Epic Novel, Gilbert Adair presents a "State-of-the-Empire address" that interrogates the epical form in a time where authors no longer talk of writing "The Great American Novel." As Joseph Tabbi finds, such an exploration goes beyond expanding the canon and presents "a new, compelling context for 'the literary' itself."
"Why shouldn't Wordsworth be read through Whitehead? Why shouldn't the canon of Romantic poetry be read alongside the inscription
technologies of cartography or tour guides?" Eugene Thacker's
challenge to the recent compartmentalization of academic literary studies is inspired by a reading of Ron Broglio's book, Technologies of the Picturesque. For Thacker, as for Broglio, literary Romanticism and phenomenological reflection are not the only unifying forces against the dissolution of the technological subject.
Dave Ciccoricco returns to Stuart Moulthrop, considers Operation Enduring Freedom (2003) in light of Operation Desert Storm (1991), and consults the annals of World War II for a likely source of "Victory Garden," the title of Moulthrop's 1991 network fiction on the Gulf War.