9 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2015
    1. It points to our anxiety that the representational power of a new medium might cause us to mistake its products for reality.

      This suggests why new technologies often have appeal to artists (anyone with an inquisitive creative mind)! The sense of "magical" (dis)reality due to having never experienced something is perfect for creating a surface response of the unsettled, dysfunctional, or even shock.

    2. Once there were stored program digital computers, all that remained (for our field to take its first step) was for someone to make literary use of one.

      An amusing side note is the the Mark I computer was also able to generate sound - and it was programmed by C. Strachey to produce computer music :-)

      Included in the Ferranti Mark 1's instruction set was a hoot command, which enabled the machine to give auditory feedback to its operators. The sound generated could be altered in pitch, a feature which was exploited when the Mark 1 made the earliest known recording of computer music. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferranti_Mark_1 ]

    3. Turing wrote the programming manual for the Mark I and constructed a ran­dom number generator that produced truly random digits from noise.

      The Mark I computer had a built-in instruction that put 20 random bits into the accumulator using a resistance noise generator (special electronic hardware), rather than use a pseudo-random number generating algorithm as is done on most later computers. Interestingly, it was A.M. Turing who recommended incorporating a random-number generator into this computer (and who built it), to create what he referred to as a “learning machine” - allowing the machine to take a guess and then make a decision based on that result. (info from book Turing’s Catheral by George Dyson).

    1. When did electronic literature begin?

      Ted Nelson first published his book "Literary Machines" about hypertext in 1980. He is credited with creating the term "hypertext" back in the mid-1960s as part of his vision for Project Xanadu, a computer-based system to inter-link text and store (world) knowledge. Although it was never actually implemented, these early ideas had a great influence on others and later related technology. The author appears to diminish Ted Nelson's contribution to Electronic Literature by claiming that he only used the exact term "electronic literature" twice in this book and that he was mostly referring to non-fiction uses. The general title of her essay is a bit misleading in that she is only interested in the history of the hypertext fiction community.

    2. works with important literary aspects

      One of the convention definitions of "Literature" is that it is written work often having a superior or long lasting artistic merit. Are what is judged to be 'important literarcy aspects' of electronic literature different in some ways than print - given its broad nature and especially given its likely limited life-span? Critique would have to occur only when the electronic literature could be accessed.

    3. use of Storyspace, a software tool for creating electronic literature, and later, around Eastgate, a publisher of hypertext fiction and the company that developed Storyspace.

      What are the implications of relying upon commercial (non-open source) software for the creation and dissemination of e-literature, in this case stories using hypertext? How much does this limit reader access to the products (as compared to print literature) - not just in the present but also to future readers encountering obsolete technology. Is Electronic Literature an ephemeral or even a self-limiting form of expression?

    1. This is an "emergent literature and academic field" whose subject matter, based on the technology of the time, more often has a limited longevity e.g. perhaps unplayable after a decade or two!!

    1. confrontation with technology

      The choice of the term “confrontation with technology” is an interesting one and seems to reflect the view of ‘older’ print-based literature consumers coming to grip with not only the ‘new’ digital technology but also how it is also altering the conception of literature. I would suspect younger generations that have grown up ‘digital’ would consider this to be less of a ‘confrontation’ and more of an expected ’transformation’ in the digital space.

    2. This attempt at describing Electronic Literature already sounds rather dated and illustrates the difficulty of trying to precisely define something directly associated with a rapidly evolving (digital) technology! In fact, as illustrated by the examples, the technology itself is altering the understanding of what Literature itself means.