The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species

[Feature image: Marginal illumination of an ursine scribe from the Bohun Psalter and Hours] Last year, a member of the first edition of the Technotexts seminar, Suzanna Hersey, encouraged me to read Ken Liu’s Paper Menagerie, and she was especially keen to see what I’d make of the collection’s opening story, “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species.” I have now used it as the final reading (more on this in a moment) of Technotexts 2.0. It’s actually a bit of a stretch to call “Bookmaking Habits” a “story,” though: it’s…

Hedghoggery

Readers of Booktrades haven’t received a new dispatch from the front matter in a while due to the efforts of the booktrader and his associates in other related quarters, including labors to make books by hand and a separate website in which to celebrate (and maybe sell a few of) those craftings. New material for this blog is, in fact, underway. In the meantime, Booktrades encourages readers to pick up a copy, paper or digital, of the new issue of The Hedgehog Review. The booktrader has two pieces in the…

Computer Poems; Or, Back to Applesoft Basic

[Lisa Hemphill’s “Self-Reflexive No. 2” {No. 1 of 2}, see below for the code] As mentioned in earlier post, my recent reading has yielded a fresh understanding of the paper components of bpNichol’s First Screening. My teaching, meanwhile, has given me a delightful opportunity to return to the screenic side of the work. Students in my now-running “Literature of the Digital Age” course read Nichol’s and Geof Huth’s early experiments with what Nichol called “computer poems” alongside examples of print visual poetry from recent decades in order to trace one…

From (M)App to Print (Part 1)

[Featured image: Screenshot of the Amazon UK rendering of the Faber & Faber codex version.] In an earlier post on The Silent History, I discussed the “remediation” of a digital work into print. We are now accustomed to thinking that the traffic always flows in the opposite direction–that the Internet is quickly hoovering up the entirety of our print (and chirographic for that matter) inheritance. Thus, we can easily overlook the opposite scenario: when the “born digital” is “reborn print.”¬† (I have in mind here digitalia that’s born on software…

William Trevor and the (Modernist) Work of Revision

[Image: Manuscript of William Trevor’s “In Love with Ariadne,” available on the Paris Review website here.] In her wonderful The Work of Revision, Hannah Sullivan tracks the ways that Modernist writers–Henry James, Pound, Eliot, Woolf, Auden–changed their works, arguing in turn that revision should be counted among the chief Modernist virtues. (If you, dear reader, aren’t familiar with the book, I’d urge you read my friend Alan’s insightful review for the now, alas, defunct¬†Books and Culture.) Sullivan ably maps the new ecology of inscription technologies emerging as the twentieth century…