Tuesday, December 09, 2008

For your further reading pleasure

by J J Cohen
  • Norris J. Lacy's plenary address to the International Arthurian Society meeting (Rennes, 2008) on "Arthurian Texts in their Historical and Social Context" is online. Much on contemporary Arthurian narratives that will interest anyone who is following the recent critical efflorescence on medievalism (via Judy Shoaf and IAS/NAB's email list)
  • Medievalists.net is up and running (h/t Unlocked Wordhoard)
  • Congratulations to Martin K. Foys. His book Virtually Anglo-Saxon: Old Media, New Media, and Early Medieval Studies in the Late Age of Print (Univ. Press of Florida, 2007) received an honorable mention in the MLA first book prize competition (h/t Heroic Age)
  • Stephanie Trigg blogs her conference paper on Bruce Holsinger, The Premodern Condition.
  • This will show how old I am. I used to be a big fan of cybertheory and cyberpunk: N. Katherine Hayles, William Gibson ... Back in the day I even taught Neuromancer in a class on something or other (it was the 1990s, I don't really recall that decade very well ... and hey the book IS a romance, and did you know it was composed on a typewriter? And that Gibson didn't even have an email address at the time? I tell ya.) Anyway, I see via BoingBoing that Gibson's self-immolating poem/event Agrippa (A Book of the Dead) can be viewed online. I was fascinated by the idea when the "package" was first released: an artifact so ephemeral it faded during first encounter. I don't often refer people to Wikipedia, but the Wikipedia article on the legends surrounding the Agrippa project is actually very good. If you watch the video, take note of the fact that the poem is read from a floppy disk. See, that was another way of ensuring the piece would vanish ... And I should also mention that the concept is better than the execution. There is nothing tremendously riveting about a silent scroll of Geneva-font text that you have to squint to see. Still, I like the idea.

5 comments:

Martin Foys said...

Hey, cheers for the notice!

~ M

Eileen Joy said...

And I would like to point out here that Martin's book was also recently award the biennial book prize of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, and it is really exciting to see a book in Anglo-Saxon studies receive this notice from the MLA. Congrats Martin!

Mary Kate Hurley said...

Congrats to Martin indeed! I'm actually 1.5 chapters from completing Virtually Anglo-Saxon and it's one of those books that as I read it, I keep thinking "Oh wow, this makes my dissertation project make so much more sense!"

It's also just *fun* -- seeing the two most temporally distant areas of study in English literature come together in ways that are so productive.

Matt said...

The embedded video doesn't really do Agrippa justice. The first time we succeeded in running the emulation, knowing that we were looking at something that had not been seen in over 15 years--which means time immemorial in digital terms--I got as much of a chill as I have in real archives. The Agrippa Files site got boinged and slashdotted and has suffered the consequences, but once it's back up take a look at the high quality Quicktime available there.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Congrats Martin. Let us know if you'd like to share some of the book at ITM.

Matt, will do: thanks.