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Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary
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Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A visible presence for some two decades, electronic literature has already produced many works that deserve the rigorous scrutiny critics have long practiced with print literature. Only now, however, with Electronic Literature by N. Katherine Hayles, do we have the first systematic survey of the field and an analysis of its importance, breadth, and wide-ranging ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by University of Notre Dame Press
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Jun 08, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it
In Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary (2008), N. Katherine Hayles argues that we cannot understand electronic literature through the lens of print (3); instead, we need to attend to the materiality of the text and moves it makes specific to its own materials and modes. She questions the notion of privileging the hyperlink as the distinguishing characteristic of digital literature because print media has analogous technologies, such as the footnote, references, etc. Additionally ...more
Oleg Kagan
Katherine Hayles theoretical essays on Electronic Literature argued that a complex understanding of digital technologies teaches us to view these machines and the processes they create and catalyze as no less than those of humans. Indeed, her essays say much more than that as they delve into the world of Wall Street Traders, media theorists, digital artists, and writers. Her arguments are well-placed, if not a little slippery, though I can't say too much since I have not read most of the critics ...more
Oct 03, 2015 Anthony rated it liked it
Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary was one of my assigned texts for a class on the effects of digital technology on reading. N. Katherine Hayles does a good job giving an overview of the evolving genre of electronic literature and introduces some of the effects it will have as we move into the future. However, due to the density of the language and concepts Hayles includes to make her points, she limits the accessibility of her work almost to the point of distracting the reader ...more
Feb 23, 2011 Kevin rated it liked it
This book is a survey of arguments for how literature is being changed and the effects that it may lead to.

Despite being, relatively, recently published I found that much of her content focused on dated technology and was at often times chaotic in linking topics.

She delved too far into technical details that I found unnecessary. For instance she often referenced binary code (the fundamental way a computer is told how to function), transistors (what the binary code drives to perform the functio
Joshua Mckinney
Sep 06, 2012 Joshua Mckinney rated it it was amazing
Hayles does an excellent job summarizing the current changes in Literature due to digital trends and providing well-reasoned predictions for future developments. Beginning with a fictional, yet historical, example of when the printing press was "cheapening" the literary experience, she sets the stage for what we see happening today with ereaders and .pdf books. We have reached the next stage of world literature founded upon principles of inexpensive, quality books with freedom and accessibility ...more
Chris Friend
Oct 12, 2009 Chris Friend rated it liked it
Let me be shallow for a moment: several things are annoying me about this book, and they unfortunately have nothing to do with the content. 1) Pages are too glossy and too easily glare with light from behind the reader. 2) Book smells bad. Usually I'm a dork who loves the smell of new books; this is the first time I've not liked the scent of a book's production. 3) No chapter numbers in footers. Why the text's title must be printed on both sides of each spread, but the chapter number should only ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Jeff rated it it was ok
I found the introductory chapter interesting, as it describes and locates the discussion of computer technology in the evolving literary landscape. I'd recommend to stop reading there. The following chapters are dense, should be reserved for specialists in the field, and diverge greatly from what I took to be the thesis.

I'm a print aficionado, and will need patience engaging in a literature that seems dependent on postmodern ontology rather than traditional narrative and discovery. This book do
Jun 14, 2012 Sandi rated it really liked it
Though she digresses at times this was an excellent introductory book on digital literature, covering a gamut of material in a condensed volume. The ending is perhaps over-optimistic and I disagree that the digital has been pivotal to conceptualizing some of the works she's mentioned, but overall a great way to get a long reading-list and understand some of the basic questions surrounding the study.
Jane Hammons
Dec 13, 2011 Jane Hammons rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic
I learned a lot of things I needed to know from this book. Also a great resource. The lit on the cd that is included seems dated to me now as I've started reading current electronic lit, but I needed the foundation and theory in order to get a critical perspective and also to teach students how to read electronic lit in an academic setting.
Chris Cook
Mar 02, 2015 Chris Cook rated it it was ok
I read this book for a graduate school course in creative writing. It was interesting, but the more I read about electronic literature, the more I think it's not going to last the test of time. It comes with a CD of electronic literature samples, which I look forward to perusing, but in general, I think it's a somewhat trumped up "art form."
Joe Nelis
Jul 27, 2012 Joe Nelis rated it really liked it
Great look into the break between how we read traditional literature and electronic texts/new media, as well as the relationship between reader embodiment and electronic (computational, coded) reading experiences.
Dec 04, 2008 Ben rated it really liked it
a cogent attempt at canon-building for an emergent class of digital literature, from classic hypertext to more contemporary flash-based curiosities. practically and philosophically savvy, as are most of hayles' works.
Oct 02, 2008 Conrad marked it as to-read
N.K. Hayles's "How We Became Posthuman," which is about nearly everything and only a little about its title, really took the top of my head off.

So I wouldn't mind giving this a try, even though my interest in non-print literature is really thin.
Chad Harrison
She says some completely crazy things in here. Well-written and definitely has some important things to say, but kind of goes off the deep end.
Erin rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2010
Dasein47 rated it really liked it
May 12, 2012
Jun 02, 2009 Ryan marked it as to-read
i suspect i will hate this.
Natalie rated it liked it
Oct 05, 2013
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Jun 28, 2014
Flelly rated it it was ok
Mar 26, 2011
Sep 05, 2008 Jasmine rated it it was ok
I thought the content was informative and interesting but it kept making me want to take a nap.
Micah Joel
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