Electronic Literature

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Electronic Literature considers new forms and genres of writing that exploit the capabilities of computers and networks – literature that would not be possible without the contemporary digital context.

In this book, Rettberg places the most significant genres of electronic literature in historical, technological, and cultural contexts. These include hypertext fiction, combinatory poetics, interactive fiction (and other game-based digital literary work), kinetic and interactive poetry, and networked writing based on our collective experience of the Internet. He argues that electronic literature demands to be read both through the lens of experimental literary practices dating back to the early twentieth century and through the specificities of the technology and software used to produce the work. 

Considering electronic literature as a subject in totality, this book provides a vital introduction to a dynamic field that both reacts to avant-garde literary and art traditions and generates new forms of narrative and poetic work particular to the twenty-first century. It is essential reading for students and researchers in disciplines including literary studies, media and communications, art, film, and creative writing.

(Source: Polity catalog copy)

Electronic Literature is the winner of the 2019 N. Katherine Hayles Award for Criticism of Electronic Literature.

Electronic Literature book cover

Critical writing that references this:

Title Author Publisher Year
"Swipe Night is Fun, but Useless” An Analysis of Tinder’s Swipe Night, an Interactive Foray in Online Dating Lauren Rouse, Rachel Nicole Winter 2021
An Institutional Approach to Building a Platform of Digital Literary Works: The Case(s) of Dutch and Flemish Digital Literature Siebe Bluijs 2021
Electronic Literature's Past and Future Scott Rettberg 2019
Electronic Literature: Archiving, History, and Potentiality Scott Rettberg, Nicola Piras, Elisa Gorgaini 2019
Electronic Literature: Documenting and Archiving Multimodal Computational Writing Scott Rettberg 2019
First Half-Century of Electronic Literature at Brown Robert Coover, Robert Arellano 2019
Generated Texts: Reading Strategy and Interpretational Options Svetlana Kuchina 2021
Indian Electronic Writing: Publics, Platforms and Possibilities Samya Brata Roy 2021
Introduction: Electronic Literature as a Framework for the Digital Humanities Alex Saum-Pascual, Scott Rettberg Electronic Book Review (ebr) 2020
Narrating the Sociality of the Database: A Digital Hermeneutic Reading of The Atlas Group Archive and haikU (paper) Hannah Ackermans Association for Computing Machinery 2019
On Reading and Being Read in the Pandemic: Software, Interface, and The Endless Doomscroller Ben Grosser 2021
Redefining Electronic Literature Eric Dean Rasmussen, Scott Rettberg, Joseph Tabbi 2018
Review of Grammalepsy: Essays on Digital Language Art and Electronic Literature Jan Baetens Leonardo Reviews 2019
Sound, Fury, and Consistency: Writing Recombinant Fiction David Thomas Henry Wright The Writing Platform 2019
The Paradox of Electronic Literature in the Classroom: The Challenges for New Literacy Practices within the Platformized School Michael Schlauch 2021

Teaching Resource using this Critical Writing:

Resource Teaching Resource Type Author Year
Digital Genres: Digital Art, Electronic Literature, and Computer Games (DIKULT 103, Spring 2020) Syllabus Daniel Jung, Hannah Ackermans, Nick Montfort 2020
Digital Humanities in Practice (DIKULT 207, UiB, Fall 2018) Syllabus Scott Rettberg, Hannah Ackermans, Jill Walker Rettberg 2018
Digital Humanities in Practice (DIKULT 207, UiB, Fall 2019) Syllabus Scott Rettberg, Hannah Ackermans, Patricia Tomaszek 2019
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Scott Rettberg