We may read books, but we write with computers. Books paper over, so to speak, the digital nature of our writing. The aim of this section is to represent the iterative aspect of writing that computers make possible and that books efface. It shows certain passages from the book that have been extensively and even exhaustively rewritten. It will highlight most clearly DeWitt’s ideal of the “what if” with the aim of bringing readers into the process of composition. With print, we only ever get a snapshot of a larger intellectual process. The web can bring into view precisely the processual nature of writing.
This section is the most personal aspect of the website and is an attempt to engage with the shifting relationship between public and private that is often the result of the introduction of new media. If one of the crucial features of romantic book culture was the growing autobiographization of the book, I am interested in exploring how digital media continue this trend towards the increasing publicization of the private. How can a web interface make the author as person even more legible than the printed book? How can the web help to underscore the fundamental individuality
of the writing process?