Author

Julia Galm

Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Kenneth Sherwood

Second Advisor

Mike Sell

Third Advisor

Christopher Kuipers

Abstract

As readers move further and further into the digital frontier, they are also bound to look back at what is being left behind—Hyperprint is the embodiment of that reflection. I argue that within mainstream fiction these print books with non-traditional physical formats have an opportunity to highlight the different affordances of print and digital literatures. Hyperprint texts both utilize and reject the digital by embracing the use of reading strategies and habits that form due to interactions with electronic media, while simultaneously exploring print materiality. I argue that these texts have feature six key elements: foster hyper reading, embrace print and material inconvenience, require conspicuous manipulation, link material and textual interactions, resist e-reader digitization, explore themes of communication and medium. Furthermore, I argue that highlighting these differences in very concrete ways will be increasingly important, not only for the Humanities but also for the general public, when we consider what is gained and sacrificed between the two mediums. It is important to note that hyperprint texts have roots in other experimental genres, I distinguish hyperprint texts from these predecessors because hyperprint texts interrogate what a print book can be in the Digital Age—foregrounding material experiences that can highlight the possibilities and limitations afforded by print and digital texts, respectively. I examine numerous hyperprint exemplars through thematic chapters in order to explore how hyperprint texts can be used to reflect on our shifting relationships to the world around us. Specifically, I explore modern formations of place through the story-map collection Where You Are and Chris Ware’s Building Stories; connections to people via correspondence through S. by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst and The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy by Nick Bantock; and concerns of preservation through Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes and Zachary Thomas Dodson’s Bats of the Republic.

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