Matthew Battles

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Boston, MA


I am the author of Library an Unquiet History (W. W. Norton 2003), which explores the idea of the library in different times and places. With Joshua Glenn I founded in 2009; at present I'm a program fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, where I work for metaLAB, a research and design group investigating the arts and humanities in a time of networks. The fiction I'm working on concerns encounters with technology, social experience, and the self. It's something like science fiction, although I'm not as interested in speculated futures as I am in the uncanny now—the ways in which tech produces not only wonder, but also fear, self-loathing, addiction, belief, and a host of extreme qualities of experience not accounted for by the collective dream of consumer culture. I'm tempted to call the stuff I write in this vein "dreampunk"; I'm curious to know if such a term can stick.


Jorge Luis Borges, Ovid, the Ramayana and the Kalevala, Haida folklore, Italo Calvino, Philip K. Dick, Ursula Le Guin, Gregory Bateson, Claude Levi-Strauss, Clifford Geertz, Carl Jung, Jacques Lacan, fire, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sherlock Holmes, Susan Sontag, Bach, Bob Dylan, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Arvo Part, Shirley Jackson, Jonathan Swift, the Apollo Program, Olivier Messaien, J. G. Ballard, Carl Sagan, Slavoj Zizek, Brian Eno, Werner Herzog, Charles Darwin, waterfalls, Frances Yates, Leonard Cohen, the Milky Way, Ivan Illich, Tiny Tim, E. R. Dodds, Sir James Frazier, the Child Ballads... in no particular order.

Matthew Battles's Manuscripts

  1. The Sovereignties of Invention 4 years ago (Published)
  2. Four Tales 5 years ago (Published)

Matthew Battles's Last Word

Title Type Replies Last Postsort icon
The Dogs In the Trees Chapter 27 3 years 49 weeks ago
The Sovereignties of Invention Manuscript 8 4 years 1 week ago
Pretend You Can Hear Me: 21 very short stories Chapter 2 4 years 24 weeks ago
I After the Cloudy Doubly Beautifully Chapter 1 4 years 45 weeks ago
The Gnomon Chapter 19 4 years 46 weeks ago
The Gnomon Chapter 1 5 years 1 week ago
Camera Lucida Chapter 1 5 years 3 weeks ago
The Sovereignties of Invention Chapter 4 5 years 3 weeks ago
Four Tales Manuscript 1 5 years 3 weeks ago
The Unicorn Chapter 2 5 years 6 weeks ago