4 January 2007

Book lust

There are tons of books that I would love to possess. (And even read!) One that I’m particularly looking forward to is Matthew Kirschenbaum’s Mechanisms: The Forensics of New Media. Here’s a bit from the introduction:

I have tried to write a different kind of book about electronic textuality, one that eschews top-heavy formalist or theoretical approaches to the medium and instead seeks to examine a number of specific digital writing technologies—and individual electronic objects—in their unique textual, technical, and imaginative milieu.

You can read a bit more of the introduction at his site, but we’ll have to wait patiently until the MIT Press releases it (in fall 2007).

I’m looking forward to this book even though my own interest in textual criticism has pushed me in the reverse chronological direction that Kirschenbaum is headed. The idea of platforms as loci for textual studies is exactly the way I want to go, as I begin framing my ideas about reading Piers Plowman as a poem materially situated (and therefore interpreted by and) in its manuscript contexts. (In other words, I want to view the manuscript as a sort of “platform.” Am I insane? I hope not!) Kirschenbaum’s previous work has already influenced my thinking, so I feel confident in anticipating some fresh thought-webs to begin from and return to his latest work.

This is the archive for commonplace book entries that I published in January 2007.