Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Cybertext explores the aesthetics and the textual dynamics of digital literature and its many diverse genres such as hypertext fiction, computer games, computer generated poetry and prose, and collaborative Internet texts such as MUDs. However, instead of insisting on the uniqueness and newness of "electronic writing" or "interactive fiction" (phrases which mean very little) the author situates these new literary forms within the larger and much older field of "ergodic" literature, from the ancient Chinese I Ching to the literary experiments of the OuLiPo. These are open, dynamic texts where the reader must perform specific actions to generate a literary sequence, which may vary for every reading. Aarseth constructs a theoretical model that describes how these literary forms are different from each other, and demonstrates how the widely assumed divide between paper texts and electronic texts breaks down under careful analysis. He then confronts literary theories of narrative, semiotics and rhetoric with the new empirical field of ergodic literature, and examines the problems and potential usefulness of applying these theories on material for which they were not intended.

(Source: Author's abstract)


Critical writing that references this:

Title Author Publisher Year
Hyper-What?: Some Views on Reader Discomfiture with Hypertext Fiction Lawrence James Clark Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy 1999
'I know what it was. You know what it was': Second Person Narration in Hypertext Fiction Alice Bell, Astrid Ensslin Narrative, The Ohio State University Press 2011
A Short History of Electronic Literature and Communities in the Nordic Countries Hans Kristian Rustad Dichtung Digital 2012
Approaches to Digital Literature: Temporal Dynamics and Cyborg Authors Raine Koskimaa Transcript 2010
Archiving Digital Narrative: Some Issues Tom Abba
Arte Digital: Pixel, Algoritmo, Código, Programação e Dados Álvaro Seiça idearte 2011
Aurature and the End(s) of Electronic Literature John Cayley 2015
Autorschaft und digitale Literatur: Geschichte, Medienpraxis und Theoriebildung Heiko Zimmermann WVT - Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier 2015
Beyond Codexspace: Potentialities of Literary Cybertext John Cayley Intellect Ltd. 1996
Beyond Myth and Metaphor: Narrative in Digital Media Marie-Laure Ryan Poetics Today 2002
Beyond the Screen: Transformations of Literary Structures, Interfaces and Genres Transcript 2010
Born Digital: Writing Poetry in the Age of New Media Maria Engberg 2007
Canonizing Hypertext: Explorations and Constructions Astrid Ensslin Continuum 2007
Card Shark and Thespis: Exotic Tools for Hypertext Narrative Mark Bernstein 2001
Command Lines: Aesthetics and Technique in Interactive Fiction and New Media Jeremy Douglass 2007
Creating Screen-Based Multiple State Environments: Investigating Systems of Confutation Donna Leishman 2004
Creative Practice and Experimental Method in Electronic Literature and Human Experimental Psychology Andrew Michael Roberts, Lisa Otty, Martin Fischer, Anna Katharina Schaffner Dichtung Digital 2012
Cybertext Killed the Hypertext Star Nick Montfort Electronic Book Review (ebr) 2000
Cybertext Poetics: The Critical Landscape of New Media Literary Theory Markku Eskelinen Continuum 2012
Cybertextuality Ian Lancashire TEXT Technology 2004
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Patricia Tomaszek