Tapping the critical resources of the disciplines of comparative literature and electronic literature, this essay conducts two cross-media comparative studies to show that a supple and dynamic concept of literary “materiality” emerges when we view the specific material characteristics of texts as inseparable from their linguistic, historical, cultural, and political attributes. The first study examines the politics of typography in the work of two Indigenous poets, Wayne Kaumualii Westlake and Jason Edward Lewis; the second analyzes the gains and losses of inter-linguistic and inter-media translation in Ingrid Ankerson’s digitally animated adaptation of a poem by the nineteenth-century Japanese artist Ōtagaki Rengetsu. The essay develops the idea of textual “integrity” as a means of grounding comparative analyses in the feedback loops between material and conceptual components of literary artifacts.

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