By Jessica Pressman

Whereas most important experiences of born-digital literature have a good time it as a postmodern artwork shape with roots in modern applied sciences and social interactions, Digital Modernism presents an alternate family tree. Grounding her argument in literary heritage, media experiences, and the perform of close-reading, Jessica Pressman pairs modernist works by means of Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Bob Brown, with significant electronic works like William Poundstone's Project for the Tachistoscope {Bottomless Pit}, Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries's Dakota, and Judd Morrissey's The Jew's Daughter to illustrate how the modernist move of the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Thirties laid the foundation for the recommendations of digital literature. hence, Digital Modernism makes the case for contemplating those electronic creations as "literature" and argues for the worth of studying them conscientiously, heavily, and inside of literary history.

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The goal of poet and critic is to challenge conventions and teach the rest of the world to see from a new perspective. McLuhan saw himself as a critic-seer witnessing a great technocultural transformation. The emergence of electric technologies, he thought, was comparable to the revolution produced in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by the invention of the printing press. The electric age of radio and television would, he was convinced, similarly transform the ways in which we read, write, and think.

18 McLuhan inherited from his teachers, the modernists and New Critics, a sense of urgency and responsibility as a critic. He saw his purpose in pedagogical terms, as a Romantic bard translating the poet’s recognition to a broader audience. ”19 The impact of this education should not be underestimated; for it was at Cambridge that McLuhan learned to see how literary study could have real-world relevance. This understanding supported McLuhan as he refashioned literary criticism into media studies.

Introduction 13 “literary scholarship,” literary studies meant philology, literary history, and the passing down of belle-lettrist sensibilities. The sea change in the Anglo-American academy began across the pond, at Cambridge University, with I. A. Richards. Richards was a pioneer in literary criticism and a great influence on the New Criticism. ) Richards’s The Principles of Literary Criticism (1924) laid the foundation for literary criticism to emerge as a discipline. ”38 The specific part of our civilization Richards seeks to unravel and reweave is the way of practicing literary studies; and since the word “text” has its etymological root in the Latin word for “to weave,” he urges a focus on analyzing a text’s formal arrangement rather than just its linguistic content.

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