I would prefer not to turn the page: Reading and Writing in the Unlimited Digital Space

  • Ana Sabino Doutoramento em Materialidades da Literatura, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Coimbra

Abstract

The limits of the page have been historically set by the constrictions of the materials on which the text is inscribed. In the digital age, those materials no longer impose a physical limit, and the limits are more bound to what are our established reading practices and conventions. We still need to access the text in finite portions — we cannot process the infinitude of text that the limitless digital space would allow. Hence, notions as window or frame appear to make this infinite space readable — not unlike the ancient practice of reading and writing on a scroll, which contained large texts, but could only be read portion by portion. Nowadays, we no longer simply turn a page and leave it behind; in our perception, it is more like a frame is constantly being repositioned. In order to question this transition and its implications, we will be looking at a paper and a digital edition of Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville.

Keywords

reading surfaces, graphical conventions, page, scroll, frame

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References

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Published
2018-08-10
How to Cite
SABINO, Ana. I would prefer not to turn the page: Reading and Writing in the Unlimited Digital Space. MATLIT: Materialities of Literature, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 135-148, aug. 2018. ISSN 2182-8830. Available at: <https://impactum-journals.uc.pt/matlit/article/view/5269>. Date accessed: 22 aug. 2019.
Section
Secção Temática | Thematic Section