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“Totaled City”: The Postdigital Textualities of Ben Lerner’s 10:04

Jordan, Spencer



Anne-Marie Evans

Kaley Kramer


The chapter argues that Ben Lerner’s 10:04 is a response to the new ontological condition of metamodernism. Not only is 10:04 deliberately playful in its mash-up of fiction and autobiography; it also encapsulates extreme levels of anxiety concerning the way twenty-first century city space and technology are now indelibly intertwined. The chapter argues that 10:04 is a kind of metamodernist thought-experiment, an attempt to formulate new ways by which prose writing can address the contemporary need for meaningful connection and affect. In 10:04 Lerner argues for new forms of creative hybridity, new assemblages of digital and non-digital entanglement, what I term postdigitality, as a means by which human dignity in the post-crash city can be reclaimed.


Jordan, S. (2021). “Totaled City”: The Postdigital Textualities of Ben Lerner’s 10:04. In A. Evans, & K. Kramer (Eds.), Time, the City, and the Literary Imagination. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2019
Online Publication Date Nov 19, 2020
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Mar 9, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 20, 2022
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Title Literary Urban Studies
Series ISSN 2523-7888
Book Title Time, the City, and the Literary Imagination
ISBN 978-3-030-55961-8
Keywords Postdigital time space
Public URL
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