Electronic Literature as an Information System: A Foundational Framework

Abstract (in English): 

Electronic literature is a term that encompasses creative texts produced for printed media which are consumed in electronic format, as well as text produced for electronic media that could not be printed without losing essential qualities. In this paper we propose that works of electronic literature, understood as text (with possible inclusion of multimedia elements) designed to be consumed in bi or multi-directional electronic media, are evolving to become n-tier information systems. By "n-tier information system" we understand a configuration of components clearly separated in at least three independent layers: data (the textual content), process (computational interactions) and presentation (on-screen rendering of the narrative). In this paper, we build two basic arguments. On the one hand, we propose that the conception of electronic literature as an information system exploits the essence of electronic media, and we predict that this paradigm will become dominant in this field within the next few years. On the other hand, we propose that building information systems may also lead in a shift of emphasis from one-time artistic novelties to reusable systems. Finally, we show that this type of systems is impossible to archive with current approaches in the field, and offer a solution for the preservation of this type of works.

(Source: ELO 2008 site)

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Hannah Ackermans