Abstract

Bob Brown’s 1930–1931 reading machine hyperbolically attempts to mradicate the difference between human and book, as well as between local reading and global reading. Brown could thus be described somewhat anachronistically as an example of what Luciano Floridi refers to as an “inforg,” an “interconnected organism . . . sharing with biological agents and engineered artifacts a global environment ultimately made of information, the infosphere.” Brown’s reading machine, I suggest most provocatively, fashions readers and writers as global word processors avant le lettre, or rather post le lettre. The reading machine implies that electronically transmitted language will alter the nature of literary form; at the same time, it parodies the Americanization of the wor(l)d brought about by new technologies of communication.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 143-164
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Open Access
No
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