BOOKLIST! // C.S. CARRIER //
An ongoing series of curated reading lists from H_NGM_N authors. Books that have personally inspired, informed, and interested these writers, across genres and time.
This week’s post comes from C.S. Carrier, author of MANTLE.
In the ongoing pursuit of a Ph.D. in English, much, if not all, of my reading and writing practice services my dissertation, a creative-critical work comprised of a collection of poems and a critical essay. In general, the dissertation reflects a growing interest in reading, writing, and teaching digital poetry and electronic literature—text-based literary work that requires digital technology and computation at every moment of existence, from creation to circulation to preservation. As Stephanie Strickland notes, electronic literature is “born-digital” and cannot be rendered as a print artifact.
The following list contains ten creative and critical works that inform my understanding of how to read, write and teach electronic literature and digital poetry. In short, these works help to show electronic literature to be a sophisticated, multivalent, and still emerging genre. While it differs from the print tradition significantly with regard to creation, circulation, and preservation of the literary, it does, however, share an impulse with literature of the print tradition, particularly avant-garde strain, that is, the crafting of literature with the materials available in order to reflect or engender experiences in the world. Both share, as Roberto Simanowski notes, an interest in “connectivity, interactivity, multimediality, non-linearity, performativity, and transformability.” The same traits I value and foster in my own work.
The Dreamlife of Letters | Brian Kim Stefans
This Flash poem, responds to a Rachel Blau DuPlessis essay on the work of Dodie Bellamy. Stefans’s film results from a deformative operation on DuPlessis’s text, alphabetizing the words therein then choreographing them, allowing for the play of chance encounters. Of erotic, aesthetic, and intellectual charge.
Dawn | Reiner Strasser and Alan Sondheim
This short work loops sound, photography, and text. The sound component combines phonograph and animal noises. The photographs explore various natural landscapes at dawn. And the text moves through lyrical reflections and philosophical ruminations. Of vapor and ground, death and regeneration, a bending to necropastoral.
V: Vniverse | Stephanie Strickland and Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo
The digital component of Strickland’s invertible book, V: WaveSon.nets/Losing L’una, Vniverse is interactive, presenting the interactor with a starfield and the ability to randomly select from a series of constellations and accompanying tercets. At the intersection of various gazings, diagrammings, and interpretings.
game, game, game and again game | Jason Nelson
This work presents itself as a game, though one with the goal of causing thinking instead of amassing points or winning. Chimera—game, poem, cultural critique, manifesto—yoking myriad modes and styles: text, drawing, video game, animation, music, video. Anodic and nodal, an ode to play and to, as Nelson writes, “the self built into a rolling, jumping meander of life.”
Cunnilingus in North Korea | Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries
This piece is projected onscreen, making no demands upon the reader-viewer but one—to keep up, as it moves at its own pace and allowing the reader-viewer no control. The video component is text, ostensibly from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, espousing the benefits of “dialectical sex and gender” as practiced in North Korea. The video marries perfect choreography with Nina Simone’s “See-Line Woman.” Of sexy irreverence, ironic propaganda.
Reading Moving Letters: Digital Literature in Research and Teaching: A Handbook | edited by Roberto Simanowski, Jörgen Schäfer, and Peter Gendolla
This collection of essays is in two parts—the reading of digital literature and the teaching of it. The essays in both are by the same scholar-teachers, providing an interesting investigation of the ways the research and teaching of digital literature inform each other within an international context.
New Directions in Digital Poetry | C.T. Funkhouser
This book picks up where Funkhouser’s Prehistoric Digital Poetry leaves off. Whereas Prehistoric charts the antecedents of digital poetry, New Directions searches for its subsequent trajectories. The first chapters delineate the nature of digital poetry while the middle chapters analyze of notable digital poems. The final chapter explores the attentions in digital poetry.
Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary | N. Katherine Hayles
Hayles seeks to define and survey the present and future of the still emerging genre of electronic literature. The book provides a discussion of the genres within electronic literature (e.g. interactive narrative) and many of the concepts (e.g. intermediation) at play in the creation, reception, and preservation of electronic literary works.
New Media Poetics: Contexts, Technotexts, and Theories | edited by Adelaide Morris and Thom Swiss
This collection explores the complex poetics of the emerging digital literary field by surveying different types of texts—those that place digital literature alongside the print tradition, those that discuss the issues involved with writing digital literary works, and those that define the genre from within. The relationship between new writing and the process of thinking is a common subtext.
The New Media Reader | edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort
This book documents the emergence of new media by collecting together texts from writers, critics, engineers, and researchers from the last half of the 20th century. It includes works by, among others, Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Coover, Vannevar Bush, Theodor Nelson, Donna Haraway, and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.
More books »
BOOKLIST! #1 - Jennifer H. Fortin
BOOKLIST! #2 - Laurie Saurborn Young