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Comparative Textual MediaTransforming the Humanities in the Postprint Era$
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N. Katherine Hayles and Jessica Pressman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816680030

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816680030.001.0001

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Reading Screens: Comparative Perspectives on Computational Poetics

Reading Screens: Comparative Perspectives on Computational Poetics

(p.255) 11 Reading Screens: Comparative Perspectives on Computational Poetics
Comparative Textual Media

John David Zuern

University of Minnesota Press

John Zuern’s chapter picks up on the theme of recursivity in his discussion of Brecht’s radio play Lindbergh’s Flight compared with the digital Flash work by Judd Morrissey and Lori Talley, My Name is Captain, Captain. He argues for the advantages of a comparative approach, especially for digital literature in comparison to print works and to works in other media, such as Brecht’s play. In his reading, the comparison with Brecht serves to highlight the moral and ethical dimensions of the digital work. Just as Brecht removed Lindbergh’s name from his work after Lindbergh’s Nazi sympathies became apparent (calling it The Flight Over the Ocean), so in My Name is Captain, Captain., Lindbergh is not only the parent who suffered because Bruno Richard Hauptmann kidnapped and inadvertently killed his child but also the hero-pilot who failed to use his notoriety to move his culture toward a better world. In a stunning display of deep reading, Zuern shows how the media-specific aspects of My Name is Captain, Captain train the reader to read its complexities through the process of reading.

Keywords:   media specificity, media materiality, media framework, practice-based research, recursivity, media theory, curricula reform

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