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Electronic Literature's Units and Bindings
 

Electronic Literature's Units and Bindings

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Nick Montfort, Associate Professor of Digital Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ...

Nick Montfort, Associate Professor of Digital Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Literature has long manifested itself as poems, stories, and plays, on broadsides and in letters and chapbooks -- but for centuries the main, defining unit of literature has clearly been the book. The book has been the basis for institutions, including bookstores and libraries, and is central to the modern idea of authorship. In recent decades, the project of literature has intersected with the digital in the form of hypertexts, multimedia CD-ROMs, expanded books, interactive fictions, sites, pages, blogs, tweets, apps, programs, installations, and performances. The Electronic Literature Organization has worked for more than a decade to facilitate and promote literature in digital media in these and other forms. Surveying some of this electronic literature provides a rich context for the standard, contemporary concept of the e-book -- which, I argue, is unlikely to become the analogue of the "book" for literary art in digital media. Instead, I suggest considering standardized e-books as part of a spectrum of book-like literary productions.

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    Electronic Literature's Units and Bindings Electronic Literature's Units and Bindings Presentation Transcript

    • Electronic Literature’s Units and Bindings Nick MontfortMassachusetts Institute of Technology Electronic Literature Organization http://nickm.comNISO Forum: E-Book Renaissance October 18, 2012 Boston, MA
    • E-Books … in the Context of Digital Media… in the Context of Electronic Literature
    • “eBooks and eReaders mark thebiggest revolution in the way we read since the introduction of Penguin paperbacks in the 1930s.” –David Kohn, Waterstone’s (Quoted in The Telegraph, 2010)
    • Five Other Revolutionsin the Way We Read (and Write)
    • Blogs
    • Google News
    • Wikipedia
    • Audio Books
    • Electronic Literature
    • http://eliterature.org
    • http://nickm.com
    • … reading is being reborn …
    • Five Non-E-BookElectronic Literature Works Exhibited
    • Façade – Michael Mateas & Andrew Stern Screen – Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al. New Word Order: Basra – Billy Collins The Mandrake Vehicles – Oni BuchananAutonomous Parapoetic Device – Adam Parrish
    • Five Non-E-BookElectronic Literature Works Demonstrated
    • I, You, We – Dan Waber & Jason Pimble The Cape – J.R. CarpenterBirds Singing Other Birds’ Songs – Maria Mencia Project for Tachistoscope [Bottomless Pit] – William PoundstoneChemical Landscapes Digital Tales – Edward Falco, Mary Pinto, & Will Stauffer-Norris
    • Five E-Lit Ideasabout the E-Book
    • 1. Don’t build libraries to hold only Penguin paperbacks2. Lend to & borrow from e-lit (as e-lit also does)3. Allow for public readings, signings, sharing, etc.4. Provide all the benefits of digital text5. Embrace computation
    • Nick Montfort http://nickm.comMassachusetts Institute of Technology Electronic Literature Organization http://eliterature.org Electronic Literature Collection http://collection.eliterature.org nickm@nickm.com