Electronic Literature as a Sword of Lightning LEA Magazine Article

LEA Volume 17 Issue 1
Senior Editor for this issue: Lanfranco Aceti

Reference: Davin Heckman, “Electronic Literature as a Sword of Lightning,” ed. Lanfranco Aceti, Leonardo Electronic Almanac (Mish Mash) 17, no. 1 (2011): 34-41.

Electronic Literature as a Sword of Lightning
by Davin Heckman
Article DOI: 10.5900/SU_9781906897116_2011.17(1)_34

This essay analyzes the humanistic potential of digital poetry in the age of new media. By way of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Defence of Poetry,” theories of the posthuman, and the tradition of Marxist critique, this essay aims to identify an occasion for hope within the new media arts. Reading electronic literature through Shelley’s metaphor of poetry as a “sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it,” Heckman analyzes the ethical dimensions of literature against the backdrop of technocapitalism and instrumental theories of the human. The essay concludes with a discussion of intersubjectivity, politics, and love.

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The first issue of the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (LEA) is published on line as free PDF but will also be rolled out as Amazon Print on Demand and will be available on iTunes, iPad, Kindle and other e-publishing outlets. As the Mish Mash issue becomes available on the different platforms we will send out announcements via LEA’s mailing list and through LEA’s social networks. To view the full list of articles in the table of content please click here.