become a touchstone
within a series of accounts of this relationship.
My starting point here, in this consideration of a particular relationship
between technology and culture, is not computer culture per se. I turn
first to an account of mass culture. In Signs Taken for Wonders, Franco
Moretti discerns the end of literary culture at the hands of mass culture,
this new order being prefigured in tensions and strains within literary
productions which cannot contain its logic. The move Moretti makes is
from the Waste Land, taken as a boarder production where myth
‘Of magic look and meaning’: themes concerning the cultural chess-player
and moralities. An epilogue considers the chess-player from an early twentyfirst-century perspective.
1 D. Martin, Curious Visions of Modernity: Enchantment, Magic, and the Sacred (Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 2011), p. xiv.
2 Ibid., p. xv.
3 F. Moretti, Graphs, Maps and Trees: Abstract Models for Literary History (London: Verso,
2007), p. 4.
4 P. Metzner, Crescendo of the Virtuoso: Spectacle, Skill, and Self-Promotion in Paris During the
Age of Revolution (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998), p. 1.
5 Oxford English Dictionary
of mass consumer
society, after all (see Moretti, 1983: 231 and Chapter 1).
Elephant, in the end, as it appears on screen, both offers choices
(multiple ways around the site, multiple reasons for the killings) and withdraws them, through a form of interactivity that finds multiple pathways
but refuses to offer anybody a choice about which of them to take, and
perhaps through a refusal to say, ultimately, if the explanation chosen
In tracking these tales through long shots, exposing these fragments,
and in returning over and over again to these spaces and