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Modernist ObjectsLiterature, Art, Culture$
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Noëlle Cuny and Xavier Kalck

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781949979503

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781949979503.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

Computer Science for (Live) Modernism(s)?

Computer Science for (Live) Modernism(s)?

Magazines as Metaobjects

Chapter:
(p.113) Chapter Six Computer Science for (Live) Modernism(s)?
Source:
Modernist Objects
Author(s):

Louise Kane

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781949979503.003.0007

This chapter frames little magazines and periodicals as modernist objects which are often preoccupied with their own materiality in a distinct and unprecedented manner. To illustrate this principle, I argue that the little magazine represents the textual equivalent of what is known in the field of Computer Science as a metaobject, a part of a computer system that has the power to modify and update itself via a process known as reflection. While the production of a book—the typesetting, printing, and assemblage or ‘gathering’ of pages tended to take place out of the sight of their writers, the limited economic funds of a little magazine meant that their editors had a direct role in the print process. Drawing on examples from global periodicals including the British Rhythm, the Japanese periodical Shirakaba, the American Crisis and Little Review, I argue that it is periodicals’ status as metaobjects that makes them modernist. Their editors’ material choices and continued self-conscious references to the magazine as object (often with a set object) produce uniquely subjective, live reading experiences which characterize magazines as indelibly modern. Their modernisms—able to be experienced just through reading the magazine – are therefore timeless and can be replayed again and again.

Keywords:   magazines, computer science, metaobject, reflection, Rhythm, Kyk-Over-Al, Shirakaba, The Crisis, The Little Review

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