The E-ssense of Literature

Abstract (in English): 

Many works of electronic literature use text generation algorithms or interactive interfaces to present the reader with a different text upon each reading. Such variable texts can be difficult to analyze and discuss because it can be prohibitively difficult to take into account all possible permutations. The standard critical methodology for approaching these texts is to discuss excerpts from different readings, perhaps comparing passages that involve alternative renderings of the same textual content. While this approach can convey a general sense of the work and its possibilities for variation, it usually doesn't allow a thorough treatment of a complex work's structural framework. This essay presents a method for analyzing a work's source code to define the most important constant and variable properties of its constituent elements. It then applies the method to a generated electronic poem, "Snaps," by Dirk Hine. The source structure thus defined provides a springboard for critical interpretation of the work.

Works referenced:

Titlesort descending Author Year
Snaps Dirk Hine 2000
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Jill Walker Rettberg