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Toward an Interactive Criticism: House of Leaves as Haptic Interface
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Toward an Interactive Criticism: House of Leaves as Haptic Interface

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Slides from a presentation given at the Louisville Conference published as an article at Hybrid Pedagogy: bit.ly/hapticinterface. "Our critical encounters with a text must be less about knowing and …

Slides from a presentation given at the Louisville Conference published as an article at Hybrid Pedagogy: bit.ly/hapticinterface. "Our critical encounters with a text must be less about knowing and more about a visceral not knowing. An interactive criticism must not take for granted: the refusal to read, the refusal to know, the vague and impressionistic turns of our encounters with a text."

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  • 1. Toward an Interactive Criticism House of Leaves as Haptic Interface Photo by flickr user LearningLark Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 2. Jesse Stommel @Jessifer Photo by flickr user jared Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 3. “...the task is to make the dry words retain a trace of the wetness of the encounter” (x) ~ Laura U. Marks, Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media “Text means Tissue” (64). ~ Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text Photo by flickr user LearningLark Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 4. “What I enjoy in a narrative is not directly its content or even its structure, but rather the abrasions I impose upon the fine surface” (12). ~ Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text Photo by flickr user brianjmatis Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 5. Texts are Monsters of Affect In House of Leaves, Danielewski, refers to this "thing" (the corridor, the Navidson Record, the book itself) that is "beyond the grasp of my imagination or for that matter my emotions" (27). Photo by flickr user Lotus Carroll Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 6. "Combining an unrepresentable topography with an uninhabitable space, the house confronts those who enter its mysterious interiors with the threat of nothingness that, far from being mere absence, has a terrible ferocious agency" (179). N. Katherine Hayles, Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary Photo by flickr user Thomas Hawk Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 7. “The monster’s body is a cultural body” (4) “Monsters are our children. They can be pushed to the farthest margins of geography and discourse, hidden away at the edges of the world and in the forbidden recesses of our mind, but they always return” (20). Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)” Photo by flickr user Lotus Carroll Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 8. “The world is increasingly unthinkable.” ~ Eugene Thacker, In the Dust of this Planet Photo by flickr user wwarby Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 9. Reading House of Leaves ≃ Not Reading House of Leaves Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 10. Analysis and critical thinking are like eating, things lively and voracious, things that drip and reel. Photo by flickr user jenny downing Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 11. “This is not for you.” Photo by flickr user dynamosquito Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 12. Our critical encounters with a text must be less about knowing and more about a visceral not knowing. An interactive criticism must not take for granted: the refusal to read, the refusal to know, the vague and impressionistic turns of our encounters with a text. An interactive criticism lures us down a text’s endlessly long hallways and loses us there. An interactive criticism is always only half-written. Photo by flickr user Merra Marie Wednesday, February 26, 14
  • 13. bit.ly/hapticinterface Photo by flickr user anieto2k Wednesday, February 26, 14

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