Scholarly essay on Down and Out

The fall edition of Currents in Electronic Literacy contains a tremendous scholarly essay on Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Eric Mason, called "Remediating the Magic Kingdom: Notes Toward a Poetics of Technology."

This description of the process of flash-baking reveals the textuality of technology because the experience of the Presidents' lives that the technology delivers is achieved specifically through texts such as "newspaper headlines, speeches, distilled biographies, personal papers." The technologicity of texts that this description constructs is one that downplays the specific technological context of these textual genres (i.e. attempts to obscure their specific technologicities). The techno-logic of "gestalts" presented above suggests as well that the experience of a technology is irrelevant to its content--that you can place content from newspapers and biographies into the technology of flash-baking without any loss or change. Such a technologicity of texts works to undermine the specificity of a text's technological context and the lived experience of technology. Conversely, a responsible poetics of technology refuses to ignore and refuses to obscure the irreducible differences of technologies, arguing that a text and the technology used to create and consume it are consubstantial elements that can be articulated but never transcended.

One Response to “Scholarly essay on Down and Out”

  1. Alan says:

    That's a tremendous scholarly essay? Wow, Cory, I hope you don't write like that now that you're a college professor.

    Is an essay more tremendously scholarly the less comprehensible it is? It seems to me that those in the upper levels of the humanities think that if you simply pour densely packed, erudite words onto a page, it constitutes scholarship. I say that obfuscation is not the goal of scholarship; clarification is!

    No wonder universities continue to cut funding to the humanities.

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