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Random Selection of Victorian New Media

Title: The Random Selection of Victorian New Media.
Name(s): Fyfe, Paul, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2009
Physical Form: computer
Physical Form: online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Faced with floods of what was variously called "cheap literature," "popular literature," and "reading for the million," a cohort of Victorian commentators adopted a surprisingly consistent response to examining such printed materials: random selection. This preferred mode of arbitrariness resonates with contemporary concerns about the profusion and access of electronic materials. By noting recent praise for random access and the serendipity of the database, we see in reactions to Victorian popular literature a compelling attention to such digital contingencies. This article suggests how Victorian reactions to mass print describe a "new media" that offers critical analogies for media studies and digital humanities today.
Identifier: FSU_migr_eng_faculty_publications-0001 (IID)
Keywords: Victorian literature, periodicals, broadsides, popular literature, mass media, new media, random access, digital humanities
Note: Winner of the 2008 VanArsdel Prize from the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. Copyright © 2009 Research Society for Victorian Periodicals. This article first appeared in Victorian Periodicals Review, Volume 42, Issue 1, 2009, pages 1-23. Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. The definitive version is available at
Citation: Fyfe, Paul. "The Random Selection of Victorian New Media." Victorian Periodicals Review 42.1 (Spring 2009): 1-23.
Subject(s): Arts
English language
English literature
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Department of English Faculty Publications.
Is Part Of: Victorian Periodicals Review.
Issue: 1, 42

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Fyfe, P. (2009). The Random Selection of Victorian New Media. Victorian Periodicals Review. Retrieved from