Out of Print

Out of Print

Mediating Information in the Novel and the Book

Page and Screen

by Julia Panko

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

264 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.80 in, 4 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9781625345608
  • Published: December 2020


  • Hardcover
  • 9781625345592
  • Published: December 2020


Through technological experiments, readers have seen the concept of the book change over the years, and the novel reflects these experiments, acting as a kind of archive for information. Out of Print reveals that the novel continues to shape popular understandings of information culture, even as it adapts to engage with new media and new practices of mediating information in the digital age.

This innovative study chronicles how the print book has fared as both novelists and the burgeoning profession of information science have grappled with unprecedented quantities of data across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As the novel's archival project took a critical turn from realism to an investigation of the structures, possibilities, and ideologies of information media, novelists have considered ideas about how data can best be collected and stored. Julia Panko pairs case studies from information history with close readings of modernist works such as James Joyce's Ulysses and Virginia Woolf's Orlando and contemporary novels from Jonathan Safran Foer, Stephen King, and Mark Z. Danielewski that emphasize their own informational qualities and experiment with the aesthetic potential of the print book.