Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Member

Cynthia Haynes

Committee Member

Matthew Hooley

Committee Member

Walt Hunter


Nick Montfort’s book of computational poetry, The Truelist, allows the reader to understand the code written by Montfort to produce the book as both “bricoleur” and “bricolage.” At the core of my examination, I will ask: how does computational poetry, specifically that of The Truelist, provide us with a new definition of what it means to embody a coded space, specifically a space that, according to Montfort, is constantly redefining itself for new readers? To focus specifically on examining the literariness of the text, I will primarily use Jacques Derrida’s concept of the “bricolage” from “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” (specifically focusing on the output of the code) in an attempt to understand how Montfort’s poetry-producing computations redefine poetry’s embodiment of space and place, and how the code itself becomes a bricoleur, particularly with regard to associative imagery and how this computational “communication” forbids the reader to engage passively with the text and its potential variations.



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