Hashtags, Algorithmic Compression, and Henry James's Late Style
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This essay draws parallels between the intellectual labor of the Jamesian narrator and that of social media user, both of whom use similar techniques to arrange and interpret data streams (consciousness, expression, dialogue, action, text). I argue that James’s social politics of conversation is not only suited to making digital interlocutors critically aware of the digital messages surrounding them but also to alerting literature scholars to the narrative possibilities of social media. By reading Jamesian style as a formal analogue of digital utterances, we can help students understand their communicative practices—and help us understand them as well.
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