30 January 2012

Article: Rachel C. Lee, "Haptics, Mobile Handhelds, and other 'Novel' Devices"

Rachel C. Lee delves into the techno-textural and spices it with a literary turn in her new article, "Haptics, Mobile Hendhelds, and other 'Novel' Devices: The Tactile Unconscious of Reading across Old and New Media" for CTheory's Theory Beyond the Codes.

An analytical reading of Monique Truong's The Book of Salt (2003) is embedded in the heart of Lee's article, but one which is provokingly framed by consideration of new media's haptic concerns - from the "stretch-and-pinch" of the iPhone to the sticky "glaze" of the immersive console gaming experience. By repositioning literary analysis within a web of "multipoint tactilities", Lee seeks to highlight the affective possibilities of literature's ludic interactivity.

"...my point has been not so much to align Truong's novel with the console game's flashing images that the user now putatively physically controls ... as much as to provoke, through the analysis of the novel's tactile devices, recognition of new media's emphasis on interactivity (that narrower meaning of tactility) as thoroughly caught up in a cognitive challenge. Cognitive challenge is at the core of immersion..."

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