World Literature in Stereo: Magnetic Tape and the Media Futures of Global Literary History


From the 1950s to the 1980s, tape transformed literature globally. From Allen Ginsberg to Anne Sexton, David Antin to the bards of magnitizdat, tape was used to unsettle the boundaries of literature and disrupt the borderlines of language, presaging a larger turn away from isolated and divisible languages and towards a greater range of intonations, versions, and modes of circulation. The history of literature on tape heralds a turn not just in global literature but also in global literary studies: it illustrates the need for literary scholars to attend to the flux in both media and languages and to the dynamic interplay between them.

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