85 Works

American Dust : Richard Brautigan's life and writing

John F. Barber
Curated, comprehensive information about Richard Brautigan's life, his novels, his poetry, his stories, his collected works, his recordings, his non-fiction writings, and poetic drawings.

Un/Official Worlds

Gregory L. Ulmer
In this review of Mark Seltzer’s The Official World, Ulmer reflects on the interdependence of “the official” and “the unofficial” in contemporary constructs of reality.

The End of Landscape: Holes by Graham Allen

Anne Karhio
In her discussion of the textual, technical, and figurative characteristics of Graham Allen’s Holes (2017), Karhio “argues that [Allen's text] is not a landscape poem in the customary sense” and explores the ways in which the digital platforms deployed in the project’s creation and publication contribute to the signifying structures that “challenge the idea of landscape as symbolic representation of the inner world of the speaking subject.”

Review of Stewart O’Nan’s West of Sunset

Christian Messenger
In this review of O'Nan's West of Sunset, Messenger explores 20th Century American literary history as a kind of contemporary metafictional myth. Using Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald as characters composing the life of a literary icon against the emergence of "Hollywood," O'Nan's work is considered a bittersweet meditation on the death of an author and the hope that his work lives on.

Infiltrating Aesthetics: Videogames, Art, and Distinction

Trevor Strunk
Though scholars of literature and the arts remain skeptical, Strunk explores some of the ways "videogames are making the transition into being objects worthy of artistic attention."

Text Generation, or Calling Literature into Question

Mario Aquilina
Reflecting on the genealogy and histories of "transgressive textualities" and text generators, Aquilina offers readings of texts by Swift, Dahl, Orwell, and Borges to consider the terms and issues involved in situating text generators as transgressive.

The Mourning of Work in For a New Critique of Political Economy: Bernard Stiegler, a Hacker Ethic, and Greece’s Debt Crisis

Harun Karim Thomas
"Even among the Greeks and Romans, the most advanced nations of antiquity, money reaches its full development, which is presupposed in modern bourgeois society, only in the period of disintegration."- Karl Marx, Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy

Aesthetic Animism: Digital Poetry’s Ontological Implications

Theadora Walsh
A review of Aesthetic Animism, so vulnerably personal, and at the same time so pragmatically organized, that it might just suggest a possible future for scholarly and creative scholarship: a digital practice that (in Jhave's words) "distends selves towards collectivities that remind it of oblivion." For the moment, that inevitability is avoided by the book's receipt of the 2017 N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature.

Illegal Literature: Toward a Disruptive Creativity

Dani Spinosa
Dani Spinosa reviews David S. Roh's Illegal Literature a book about authorship, copyright, fair use and literary disruptions.

Information Wants to Be Free, Or Does It?: The Ethics of Datafication

Geoffrey Rockwell
"More is not necessarily more. Faster is not necessarily better. Big data is not necessarily better." In the effort to capture and make available data about people, digital humanities scholars must now weigh the decisions of what and what not to share. Geoffrey Rockwell and Bettina Berendt address the new ethical issues around “datafication” in an age of surveillance.

Cinema without Reflection by Akira Mizuta Lippit

Leiya Lee
If it's true, as Leiya Lee argues, that Akira Mizuta Lippit turns Derridean theory into a system, then it's a system grounded in ghostly presences (not least Derrida's own presence in film).

Review of Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right

Gregor Baszak
Gregor Baszak parses Nagle's celebrated, and "overdue" reconsideration of the internet, and social media in particular as a battlefield for politics.

Getting Lost in Narrative Virtuality

Will Luers
Repetition, gestural abstraction and depictions of noise; an absence of narrative causation, a multiplicity of micro-narratives and opacity of material communications: The digital narrativity observed and created by Will Luers is equally applicable to the films of Stanley Kubrick or the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch - which implies a longer continuity (and less radical transformation?) than we might have expected. Indeed, Luers argues that "networks and nonlinear systems" might better be understood as "something deep...

Digital Writing: Philosophical and Pedagogical Issues

Serge Bouchardon & Victor Petit
Bouchardon and Petit defend the concept of digital writing and the teaching thereof. We can accept that digital writing exists, with its specific properties and tensions, but can it be taught? Specifically, the pedagogical dimension of what is known as "digital" writing, the authors argue, would do well to follow a study on the relationship between writing and computer science that was sponsored by the Picardy region : PRECIP, PRatiques d'ÉCriture Interactive en Picardie (interactive...

Forms of Censorship; Censorship As Form

Joseph McElroy
Beginning as a talk delivered at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine May 17, 2017, now edited and amplified for publication in the electronic book review and the 2018 collection of ebr essays forthcoming from Bloomsbury Press.

Review of Making Literature Now by Amy Hungerford

Ralph M. Berry
Berry, who with ebr editor Joseph Tabbi initiated the Fictions Present thread (circa 2006), finds few intersections of that project with Hungerford’s celebrated Making Literature Now, not least because Hungerford shows little interest in the question of how her titular concept, when applied to commercial and cultural productions, indie and alt endeavors, “manages to mean what those trying to make literature are trying to make.”

The Role of Imagination in Narrative Indie Games

Gordon Calleja
What binds literature, electronic literature and games is "the shaping and networking of the imagination." Drawing on the ideas of Damasio, Walton and Sartre, Gordon Calleja looks at the synthesizing role of the imagination in narrative indie games.

What is Queer Game Studies?

Jason Lajoie
Addressing a lacuna in games studies, Jason Lajoie makes a case for why a queer games studies is needed, and he shows how these two areas of study are united in Bonnie Ruberg's and Adrienne Shaw's collection.

Beyond Ecological Crisis: Niklas Luhmann’s Theory of Social Systems

Hannes Bergthaller
Bergthaller's essay originally appeared in the collection, Ecological Thought in Germany. It is reprinted here, with permissions from Lexington Books, as part of an ebr gathering-in-process on Natural Media (to be released in the summer of 2018).

Of Myth and Madness: A Postmodern Fable

Ralph Clare
Ralph Clare reviews After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography by Chris Kraus.

Electronic Literature Translation: Translation as Process, Experience and Mediation

Manuel Portela, María Mencía & Søren Pold
"[T]ranslation is merely a preliminary way of coming to terms with the foreignness of languages to each other." (Walter Benjamin, "The Task of the Translator" [1921])

Decollage of an Iconic Image

Daniel Schulz
Even as the first biography of Kathy Acker appears, we have word of a newly assembled Acker archive in Cologne, under the curatorship of Daniel Schulz. The gist of which, could be to re-orient Acker's personal relationships to "the politics inherent in Acker's life."

Vibrant Wreckage: Salvation and New Materialism in Moby-Dick and Ambient Parking Lot

Dale Enggass
Instead of simply reviewing Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett (Duke 2010), author Dale Enggass applies Bennett's "Political Ecology of Things" to longstanding (and not yet resolved) themes of salvation, materialism and transcendence in Melville's Moby-Dick and Pamela Lu's Ambient Parking Lot.

Photo Narratives and Digital Archives; or: The Film Photo Novel Lost and Found

Jan Baetens
A first draft of this essay was presented at the 2017 ELO Conference at Porto, in a panel organized by the "Nar-Trans" group of the University of Granada.

Parasite of a Parasite

David Jhave JOHNSTON & Sean Braune
For a journal like ebr, long devoted to peer-to-peer reviews (of writers for and by writers), the engagement by Jhave with Sean Braune's Language Parasites suggests a variation on that model. Their parasite-to-parasite encounter bodes well to supplement (if not overtake) the hidden, professionalized peer review models that keeps all of us so busy and so hidden from view - of one another, not to mention our potential audiences. What better outcome for born digital...

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