“Hypermnesia” sketches the historical, theoretical, and technological contexts for the Eclipse archive of radical poetry (http://english.utah.edu/eclipse). Engaging Jacques Derrida's argument in Mal d'archive, the essay posits the archive as a species of gift and teases out the contradiction at the heart of all digital archives: on the one hand, the dream of lossless reproduction; on the other hand, the distorting and degrading compression necessary for communicating between networked machines. Through close bibliographic readings of poems by Lyn Hejinian, Lorenzo Thomas, Tina Darragh, and Charles Bernstein, the essay further argues for the importance of material specificity to literary critical analyses, demonstrating that the material substrates of poetry and its modes of production—from typeface and ink type to binding and paper stock—are an inherent and inextricable aspect of the printed poem's meaning.
Craig Dworkin; Hypermnesia. boundary 2 1 August 2009; 36 (3): 77–95. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2009-021
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