The Baroque Technotext (Book)

Literature in a Digital Mediascape

This book analyzes the role of baroque and neo-baroque aesthetics in technotexts, reframing critical debate of contemporary experiments in literary practice in the late age of print.

Edition

To date, most criticism of print and digital technotexts – literary objects that foreground the role of their media of inscription –has emphasized the avant-garde contexts of a text’s production. Baroque Technotexts opens new perspectives on this important and innovative literary canon, analyzing the role of baroque and neo-baroque aesthetics in the emergence and possible futures of technotexts. Combining the insights of poststructuralist theory of the baroque, postcolonial theory of the neobaroque, and insightful critique of the prevailing modernist approaches to technotexts, Baroque Technotexts reframes critical debate of contemporary experiments in literary practice in the late age of print. Analyses of works from authors including Jonathan Safran Foer, Chris Ware, and David Clark are matched with reflections on other media texts – film, visual art, and interface design – that have adopted baroque aesthetic tropes.

Elise Takehana is associate professor of English studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Her research interests include composition and rhetoric, media studies, aesthetics, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century text production.

About the Book vii

Chapter Summaries ix

Introduction: An Anamorphic Projection of the Title 1

Reconciling Literary Study with Materiality 2

Technotexts as a Focus 6

Technotexts Beyond Modernism 8

Baroque as the Other Focus 10

Baroque Reason as Modernity’s Madness 12

Prologue 15

Choice 17

Monads: A Harmonic Subjectivity for Technotextuality 21

Mirrors 47

Mise en Abyme: Mirrorish Dimensions Down to the Code 51

Illusion 77

Trompe L’Oeil: Blending Media and Synesthetic Knowing 80

Surface 111

Minoring: Baroque Cosmology and Criticizing from Within 115

Code 141

Collections and Navels: The Horror Vacui of the Database 146

Coda 179

References 182

Index 194

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