Digital Literature—A Question of Style

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

For some time, critics tried to circumscribe the “novelty” of digital literature in rather generalist terms, either taking into account its relation to literary avant-gardes or focalizing on its technical features; these theoretical approaches were often blind to contents. Now that digital literature seems more and more aesthetically convincing, the time has come to define its stylistic features with more precision. In order to circumscribe the poetics of interaction, some authors tested the validity of the classical figures of style. It is, however, probably dangerous to use classical rhetorical terms intended to characterize textual phenomena, whereas the signs of digital text almost constantly refer to different semiotic systems (including the visual one). In the following pages of this article, I will sometimes continue to borrow from conventional taxonomies to describe the stylistic devices of digital literature, and I will try in other cases to invent a new terminology in order to avoid foolhardy analogies.

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Alexandra Saemmer