More on Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl

So, as I said in class today, I’m sorry that the obsolescence of certain software and hardware has made Shelley Jackson‘s Patchwork Girl (1995) prohibitively difficult to read in a classroom setting, but it certainly deserves all the attention it has garnered as one of the most important, canonical works of electronic literature. It is a fantastic text and I cannot recommend it enough.

I thought I would provide a few links to stuff in Patchwork Girl‘s orbit and a couple videos further demonstrating and engaging the text. (This is also to say that if anyone is interested in working on Patchwork Girl for their final, or Michael Joyce‘s afternoon, a story (1990) or Stuart Moulthrop‘s Victory Garden [1995], I would be willing to lend them my copies of the CD-ROMs if the student promised to treat it them well and return them. . . .)

Shelley Jackson, “Stitch Bitch: The Patchwork Girl.” Check this out. It is a talk Jackson gave a the MIT Communications Forum, and though critical/theoretical/creative, has obvious resonance with her seminal work of electronic literature.

George Landow, “Stitching Together Narrative, Sexuality, Self: Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl,” Electronic Book Review (1 September 1996). Landow, one of the most important early scholars of electronic literature and, indeed, one of Jackson’s teachers at Brown, reviews Patchwork Girl.

An entry on Patchwork Girl for the Electronic Literature Directory by John Vincler (adapted from Astrid Ensslin, Canonizing Hypertext [London: Continuum, 2007], 78-81), adapted for the database at Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice (ELMCIP).

N. Katherine Hayles, “Flickering Connectivities in Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl: The Importance of Media-Specific Analysis,” Postmodern Culture 10, no. 2 (January 2000). (This essay was revised as N. Katherine Hayles, “Print Is Flat, Code Is Deep: The Importance of Media-Specific Analysis,” Poetics Today 25, no. 1 [2004]: 67-90.)

Shelley Jackson, Skin (2003-    ), tatoo ink and human bodies.

And a series of YouTube videos of someone working their way through Patchwork Girl:


About Bradley J. Fest

Bradley J. Fest is assistant professor of English at Hartwick College. He is the author of two books of poetry, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015) and The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017), along with a number of essays on contemporary literature and culture. He blogs at The Hyperarchival Parallax.
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