Essays on Ghost Writing, Nutshells and Infinite Space

by Darren Tofts
ISBN 978-80-7308-479-0 (paperback) 142pp
Publication date: November 2013

Price: € 6.00 (not including postage)


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Alephbet is a selection of essays on the uncanny prescience of the writer Jorge Luis Borges for the age of cyberspace and beyond. Darren Tofts explains how in the 1990s he turned his practice as a literary theorist towards media studies of the emergent internet and its remote time-spaces of interaction and presence at a distance. De rigueur at the time, the perception of similarities between the worlds of literature and cyberspace are here inflected with Borges's profound and inscrutable influence. Looking back to this convergence of one form of textual alchemy with another, Tofts is startled by those moments when Borges' fiction anticipated ways of understanding the ambience of the computer network, often creeping unknowingly into his writing to announce the otherzones of social media that we now take for granted.

As Tofts observes in the Preface, in these selected essays Borges prompted, often unconsciously, ways of thinking on the specific non-Borges topic at hand. But he also fugitively crept into the text as direct reference to and quotes from his writing.

Here Tofts proffers a new ABC prefigured in Borges, an alephbet capable of anticipating all things before they have been written.

"I normally don't read books from start to finish but I read all of Alephbet in one go!"

"Very smart, very funny, fantastically written as always. I have already tweeted it to the world, and shall do so again !"
-Professor Adrian Martin, Goethe University, Frankfurt

Darren Tofts is Professor of Media and Communications, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. He is a well-known cultural critic who writes regularly for a range of national and international publications on issues to do with cyberculture, new media arts, remix culture and literary and cultural theory. He teaches in the areas of Australian and International media arts, postmodernism and the historical avant-garde, literary history and twentieth century writing, critical and cultural theory and cyberculture. He is the author (with artist Murray McKeich) of Memory Trade. A Prehistory of Cyberculture (Sydney, Interface Books, 1998), Parallax. Essays on Art, Culture and Technology (Sydney, Interface Books 1999) and Interzone: Media Arts in Australia (Thames and Hudson: Sydney, 2005). With Annemarie Jonson and Alessio Cavallaro he edited Prefiguring Cyberculture: An Intellectual History (Power Publications/MIT Press, 2003) and with Lisa Gye edited Illogic of Sense: The Gregory L. Ulmer Remix (ALT-X Press, 2007). He is a member of a number of national and international editorial boards including Postmodern Culture, Continuum, The Australian Journal of Media and Culture, fibreculture journal, Hypermedia Joyce Studies, Rhizomes: Critical Studies in Emerging Knowledge, Scan Journal of Media Arts Culture, 21C and RealTime, where he is a commissioning editor for new media arts.

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