Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary

Critical Writing
Publication Type: 
xiii, 223
All Rights reserved
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

Hayles’s book is designed to help electronic literature move into the classroom. Her systematic survey of the field addresses its major genres, the challenges it poses to traditional literary theory, and the complex and compelling issues at stake. She develops a theoretical framework for understanding how electronic literature both draws on the print tradition and requires new reading and interpretive strategies. Grounding her approach in the evolutionary dynamic between humans and technology, Hayles argues that neither the body nor the machine should be given absolute theoretical priority. Rather, she focuses on the interconnections between embodied writers and users and the intelligent machines that perform electronic texts.

Through close readings of important works, Hayles demonstrates that a new mode of narration is emerging that differs significantly from previous models. Key to her argument is the observation that almost all contemporary literature has its genesis as electronic files, so that print becomes a specific mode for electronic text rather than an entirely different medium. Hayles illustrates the implications of this condition with three contemporary novels that bear the mark of the digital.

(Source: Publisher's catalog description)

Pull Quotes: 

To see electronic literature only through the lens of print is, in a significant sense, not to see it at all.

The immediacy of code to the text's performance is fundamental to understanding electronic literature, especially to appreciating its specificity as a literary and technical production.

[T]he computational media intrinsic to electronic textuality have necessitated new kinds of critical practice, a shift from literacy to what Gregory L. Ulmer calls "electracy."

Electronic Literature extends the traditional functions of print literature in creating recursive feedback loops between explicit articulation, conscious thought, and embodied sensorimotor knowledge.


Critical writing that references this:

Title Author Publisher Year
E-Borges: Stuart Moulthrop’s Victory Garden Álvaro Seiça Op. Cit.: Revista de Estudos Anglo-Americanos/A Journal of Anglo-American Studies 2012
Electronic Literature Scott Rettberg Polity 2018
Electronic Literature Organization Marjorie C. Luesebrink 2014
Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary: Website Accompaniment 2008
Exploiting Hypertext’s Potential for Teaching Gender Studies Maya Zalbidea Paniagua 2012
Further, Reading Scott Rettberg Vagant 2011
Galatea’s Riposte: The Reception and Receptacle of Interactive Fiction Lisa Swanstrom Electronic Book Review (ebr) 2013
Hypertext Revisited Jan Baetens Leonardo 2013
In the Event of a Variable Text J. R. Carpenter Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 2017
Indian Electronic Writing: Publics, Platforms and Possibilities Samya Brata Roy 2021
Litteratur i digitale omgivelser Øyvind Prytz Norsk kulturråd / Arts Council Norway 2013
New Directions in Digital Poetry Chris Funkhouser Continuum 2012
Písanie v interaktívnych médiách. Digitálna fikcia /Writing in the Interactive Media. Digital Fiction Zuzana Husárová 2009
Reading Digits – Haptic Reading Processes in the Experience of Digital Literary Works Diogo Marques 2018
The Absence and Potential of Electronic Literature Sandy Baldwin 2013
The Gothic in Contemporary Interactive Fictions Van Leavenworth 2010
The Idiocy of the Digital Literary (and what does it have to do with digital humanities)? Sandy Baldwin DHQ Digital Humanities Quarterly 2013
The Machine in the Text, and the Text in the Machine Manuel Portela DHQ Digital Humanities Quarterly 2010
The Paradox of Electronic Literature in the Classroom: The Challenges for New Literacy Practices within the Platformized School Michael Schlauch 2021
The Transducer Function: An Introduction to a Theoretical Typology in Electronic Literature and Digital Art Álvaro Seiça CITARJournal: Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts 2012
The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Eric Dean Rasmussen