Rebooting Electronic Literature: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media

J. Yellowlees Douglas' "I Have Said Nothing"

J. Yellowlees Douglas's Biography

J. Yellowlees Douglas’ prominence as a pioneering writer of electronic literature was established with the publication of her 1994 hypertext narrative, “I Have Said Nothing.” It remains one of two works of American electronic literature included in a mainstream literary anthology, the 1998 publication of W. W. Norton & Co.’s Postmodern American Fiction. An astute critic and theorist, Douglas wrote essays and books on topics that span the fields of literary theory, electronic literature, composition studies, media studies, reading studies, and neuroscience. Her first essay, "Understanding the Act of Reading: The WOE Beginners' Guide to Dissection" appeared in 1991 in  Writing on the Edge, a journal about writing and writing pedagogy published from 1989-2014 by the Regents of the University of California. An earlier manuscript, entitled Beyond Orality and Literacy: Toward Articulating a Paradigm in the Electronic Age, written in 1988, remained unpublished but is referenced in Jay David Bolter’s Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print (1992). The End of Books or Books Without End, a response to Robert Coover's 1992 essay "End of Books," was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2000 and is considered one of the seminal texts in the field of electronic literature. Additionally, she is credited for identifying a lexia that lacked inbound and outbound links in Michael Joyce’s afternoon: a story, a phenomenon that Joyce, Stuart Moulthrop, and John McDaid referred to thereafter as a “Janespace.” Moulthrop honored Douglas with a janespace in his hypertext novel, Victory Garden (1992). Her recent work, The Readers Brain: How Neuroscience Can Make You a Better Writer (2015, Cambridge University Press) uses psychology and neuroscience to tackle strategies for making writing readable. 

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Douglas studied English language and literature at the University of Michigan. Her interest in media led her to a master’s degree in cinema and literary theory. She earned her PhD in English and education at NYU.  She is currently an Associate Professor of Management Communication at the University of Florida. Her legal name is J. Yellowlees Douglas, but she adopted the name Jane because having a name associated with the initial avoided confusion.
Versions of "I Have Said Nothing"

✭Version 1.0: Published in 1994 on a 3 1/2-inch floppy disk with Mary-Kim Arnold’s "Lust" in The Eastgate Quarterly Review of Hypertext, Volume 1, Number 2. The folio was first produced in gray vinyl with red lettering. It was re-released as a cardboard folio.

✭Version 2.0: Published in 1998 in Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology

✭Version 3.0: Published in 1998 on CD-ROM

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