Abstract only
Digital memory and salvation
Stephen Curtis

This chapter explores the overdetermined word ‘save’ – tracing its shifts from notions of salvation and paradise through to its contemporary meaning of ‘store’. This shift is not without anxiety, and this chapter argues that there is a movement from paradise to limbo which encapsulates our relationship to technology. The ability of programming such as UNICODE to convert alphabetic languages to their purest forms of presence and absence through binary makes the familiar unfamiliar; the heimlich unheimlich. The Gothic effects of this ‘shift from the tactile to the digital’ (Baudrillard, in Landow 1997) is evidenced by the hauntings and monsters depicted in two episodes of series four of the BBC TV series Doctor Who, ‘Silence in the Library’ and ‘Forest of the Dead’ (2008). The clash of the traditional and the technological embodied by the library and its terrifying inhabitants perfectly illustrates the horror of being ‘saved’.

in Monstrous media/spectral subjects