Beyond the Screen
Posted by admin
on October 22, 2010
I recently received a copy of Beyond the Screen, edited by Jörgen Schäfer and Peter Gendolla, published transcript (2010). According to the blurb on the book’s jacket:
While literature in computer-based and networked media has so far been experienced by looking at the computer screen and by using keyboard and mouse, nowadays human-machine interactions are organized by considerably more complex interfaces. Consequently, this book focuses on literary processes in interactive installations, locative narratives and immersive environments, in which active engagement and bodily interaction is required from the reader to perceive the literary text. The contributions from internationally renowned scholars analyze how literary structures, interfaces and genres change, and how transitory aesthetic experiences can be documented, archived and edited. <http://www.transcript-verlag.de/ts1258/ts1258.php>
And, a quick glance at the contents reveals that this is indeed the case. The three major sections of the book address space and time, the literary, and archiving. Within each section is a robust sampling of innovative perspectives on electronic literature.
The editors demonstrate the same commitment to the form of scholarly writing as they do to content, including (as I was very excited to discover) an edited version of a forum discussion initiated by Joe Tabbi and hosted by On the Human
> that I was a participant in. Other articles include full color images and illustrations.
I know these are superficial comments, quite possibly brought on by the happy discovery of seeing my contribution to a really exciting forum discussion polished and preserved. But even if that were not the case, my initial response would likely remain the same: I can hardly even believe it exists. It’s a really neat book. And I am very anxious to spend some time with it. It is another reminder that Electronic Literature is making steady progress as a field of study. And that those who are worried for the future of literary culture have one less reason for their pessimism.