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Electronic Literature: What it is and Where it is Going
Transcript of Electronic Literature: What it is and Where it is Going
Storyspace and Hypercard were software developed before world wide web and used to develop the first hypertexts.
E-literature as a genre began in the 70s.
Sequence of events: Interactive novel -> visual novel -> interactive story-telling.
Electronic Literature Organization
Electronic Literature Directory
TrAce Online Writing Community
Unknown category Interactive Novel: http://happily-ever-afters.net/
Visual Novels: http://vndb.org/
Interactive Fiction: http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/short__galatea.html
New Categories are constantly being invented.
Other online forums compared to books and IF
Advantages of IF and other similar forms
Proponents of IF: original art form that "combines “combines cinematic technique with live performance qualities, and is not designed to be viewed in the same light as printed literature" (Lillington, 1) Evolution Scholarly Discussion/Discussion Forums Is the computer an essential component of hypertext? (Nick Montfort)
Debate over whether cybertext replaced hypertext or whether hypertext will continue to be its own category (or subcategory).
Can ergodic literature only appear on a computer?
Does e-lit really give the power to the reader? Or has the reader always had the power? (Alex Barkett)
What should we call consumers of hypertext/cybertext? "Hypertext is Dead-- and Cybertext Killed it." http://grandtextauto.org/
This website is a blog devoted to scholarly discussion and sharing of electronic literature such as hypertext, interactive fiction, cybertext novels, etc...
Writers/Main contributors are Andrew Stern, Mary Flanagan, Michael Mateas, Nick Montfort, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, and Scott Rettberg. Citations: http://liu.english.ucsb.edu/wiki1/index.php/Electronic_Literature_and_the_Author/Reader_Paradox
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/01/12/683376/-A-Somewhat-Brief-Introduction-to-the-I-Ching -Markku Eskelinen
Scholarly Debates on Electronic Literature Where it's been, where it's going, and why The state of Electronic Literature Scholars discuss challenges facing e-lit today.
Frustrations with not reaching wider audience.
Many see e-lit as a drop in the pool of the World Wide Web.
Robert Coover: "the golden age of literary hypertext has already passed".
Overall, e-lit faces the challenge other literal reading or writing face; the domination by video and communicative modalities. Electronic Economics - Gift economy: works are distributed for free on the Internet
- Equating freedom with progressive ideas of distribution vs. equating freedom with value(less)
- In the past, Eastgate published select pieces of electronic literature. However, model of publishing is reaching extinction.
- Media grants, university backing The Future of Electronic Literature - Electronic Literature still holds status as an avant-garde literary movement, pushing the boundaries of both literature and technology
- Possibility that it will never gain large audience
- Careful not to adopt so much technology that literary elements are lost
- To create a viable field, a culture of digital authorship must be established:
- A process by which to award authors credentials
- "digital author" must come to be thought of as a profession
- Communitize: increased communication and networking between digital authors
- Larger stronghold in academia
- Sustained journals of electronic literature over time
- Works that appeal to both hyper and deep attention
- More works http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/2/000046/000046.html I Ching