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Writing Machines (Mediaworks Pamphlets) Paperback – November 15, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0262582155 ISBN-10: 0262582155

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Product Details

  • Series: Mediaworks Pamphlets
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (November 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262582155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262582155
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #764,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Hayles's book is one of the most exciting examples of technological anti-determinism I have ever read.

(Jan Baetens Image [&] Narrative)

N. Katherine Hayle's Writing Machines is a beautiful little book.

(Davin Heckman Reconstruction.ws)

Without a doubt, Writing Machines is an important book....

(Dene Grigar Leonardo Digital Reviews)

In the age of the immaterial, Writing Machines compellingly argues that all forms of literature are inescapably material. Through Burdick's melding of graphic evidence and Hayles' weaving of critical and biographical perspectives, Writing Machines deftly embodies its subject while disrupting our expectations about academic publishing.

(Andrew Blauvelt, Design Director, Walker Art Center)

About the Author

N. Katherine Hayles is Professor of English and Design/Media Arts at the University of California at Los Angeles.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By komninos zervos on January 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This 'pamphlet' surprises you immediately, it is a black-covered hardback with a lovely feel and design that says this book is different from other books. Pages of shiny paper (you can't write on them) and blocks of text that zoom out at you, or that are printed right up to the page edges, secret inscriptions, screen shots and new terminology introduced as underlined CAPITALS. The outside of the book reflects what the inside of the book is saying, before you even read a word. Hayles contends that the materiality of the work is important to the experience of it and that works in different media require their own media specific analysis (MSA).
The 'I' that writes is never the 'I' that is written and so N Katherine Hayles chooses a character 'Kaye' to tell of her journey of discovery from childhood to the present. However in doing so it was more than a little reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland as the naïve young Kaye skipped through science and art and arrived at electronic textuality. And when she arrived at this wonderland she found that all she had thought of her world had been turned upside down.
"Lulled into somnolence by five hundred years of print, literary studies have been slow to wake up to the importance of MSA. Literary criticism and theory are shot through with unrecognized assumptions specific to print. Only now, as the new medium of electronic textuality vibrantly asserts its presence, are these assumptions clearly coming into view." (pp 29-30)
But I am not convinced about the importance Hayles' places on the materiality of works of literature. I think Hayles, and nearly every other student of literature over the last fifty years received a very narrow education as to what constitutes a literary work, a very rigid print-centric view.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt on March 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a great read, really changes your definition of a text. Came in the condition stated, happy with the purchase.
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