I Pay Rapt Attention

Senior Thesis Reading List

UPDATE: As of April, I completed my senior thesis on the attempt by contemporary experimental print literature to defend the necessity of paper for the act of narrative-making in an increasingly digital world. Below, you can see all the books I read to figure out what I’d be writing about. If you’d like a copy of my thesis for some reason, just let me know.


Next year I’ll be writing a year-long senior thesis on something to do with digital and experimental print literature- possibly how the pressure of the digital space transforms literary understandings of regional identity in both electronic and radical print forms.*^ This is my reading list so far! Suggestions desperately solicited!

1. The People of Paper- Salvador Plascencia (complete)

2. Raw Shark Texts- Steven Hall (complete)

3.The New York Trilogy- Paul Auster (complete)

4. White Noise- Don Delillo (complete)

5. House of Leaves- Mark L Danielewski (complete)

6. Wilson- David Mamet (sort of in progress)

7. Pale Fire- Nabokov

8. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer (completed)

9. if on a winters night a traveler- Italo Calvino

10. Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon

11. Century of Wind- Eduardo Galeano

12. Writing Machines- N Katherine Hayles

13. _Non-place_ – Marc Auge (completed)

14. in parenthesis – David Jones

15. Always Already New – Gitelman

16. The Anxiety of Obsolescence

17. The Visible World- Johanna Drucker

18. Imagining Language: An anthology

19. The Unfortunates – BS Johnson

20. Vertigo – W G Sebald

21. Strange Telescopes – Daniel Kalder

22. Book of Portraiture

** 23. Hertzian tales : electronic products, aesthetic experience, and critical design -Anthony Dunne

*Yes, I recognize the ridiculous pretentiousness of my topic. It’s also really interesting. Get over it.

^UPDATE: My thesis is going to be about  the way literary interpretations of physical space have changed as the concept of virtual space has become more widespread/common (and more powerful) and how that change has lead the virtual space of a story to invade the physical presence of the book in experimental literature. Not regionalism.


6 Responses

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  1. […] to the HBS 2+2 program (deadline is July 1!!) that I have little time for anything else, let alone the reading list for my senior thesis (which I’m absolutely itching to start) or my own writing, which is pretty much all I want to […]

  2. […] can get free books from time to time. While I’m technically supposed to be plowing through my thesis reading list (which I totally want to do, don’t get me wrong) I took a break this weekend to read the new […]

  3. David Edmon said, on July 20, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Briefly: it’s awesome that White Noise and Gravity’s Rainbow are on your thesis list because they’re on my thesis list too and I’m a narcissist.

  4. postitpoetry said, on July 21, 2009 at 12:00 am

    What’s your thesis on again?

    • David Edmon said, on July 21, 2009 at 12:15 am

      It centers around comments made by DF Wallace about his influences (for the purposes of my paper: Pynchon, DeLillo and Barth). So I’m looking at those writers in their own right, then evaluating how they influenced Wallace in any number of directions (and how they influenced Richard Powers, especially in Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance), then looking at Wallace as a step forward in the history of literature (half my reading list consists of Wallace’s whole oeuvre [minus his soon-to-be-posthumously-published unfinished final manuscript for The Pale King; also minus his report on the 2008 McCain campaign and the book he co-wrote on modern rappers; oh and also minus This is Water, the commencement speech he gave at Kenyon College])

  5. David Edmon said, on July 21, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Ya know who does wonderful things with space? John Ashbery. Especially in A Wave. Don’t read Convex Mirror, or maybe do, but don’t consider it representative of his best work because it isn’t even if it is the one that everyone reads. I’m not sure about his recent stuff…

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