Roberto Simanowski, Jörgen Schäfer, Peter Gendolla – Reading Moving Letters: Digital Literature in Research and Teaching. A Handbook

Transcript Verlag

Transcript Verlag, ISBN: 9783837611304, 350 pages, 2011, English
After distancing and distinguishing itself from traditional literature as much as possible, digital literature has achieved a stable academic status and a decent number of departments are now dedicated to its study. Still the general impression is that it remains a liquid and experimental territory with many different directions, still lacking a consistent identity in order to be properly acknowledged. This book is another contribution toward this goal and is specifically a handbook, so it includes both theoretically engaging texts as well as texts meant for teachers working in this field. It’s divided into two sections: “Reading Digital Literature”, which deals with concepts, definitions, aesthetics and interfaces, and “Teaching Digital Literature”, which discusses what it implies. Nine scholars and teachers were commissioned to contribute, with special focus being placed on methodologies – generating a very positive difference with other classical anthologies on this topic. Each contributor to the volume was asked to write an essay for both sections. Among the many issues addressed are a few seminal ones, such as the need for a digital literary criticism defined on its own terms and the essential importance of code. As Wardrip-Fruin points out “we must read both process and data” going beyond the usual correspondence between code and literature. The book also covers aspects ranging from the manifold computer mediations of text to the new production speeds influenced by networks – resulting in an ample and worthy study.