Electronic Literature as Paratextual Construction

Abstract (in English): 

The following discussion aims to reflect on how electronic literature and affiliated or related fields describe themselves paratextually. I will argue that the social construction of ‘electronic literature’ is dominated by its systemic self-description. The paratextual construction basically works with the ascription of the genre name ‘electronic literature’ and discursive descriptions or reflections to phenomena of artistic practice and has been institutionalized in no small part by the Electronic Literature Organization. The argument is developed by observing paratextual practices in founding narratives, archives and collections related to the ELO. This perspective is contextualized by looking at self-descriptions in the pre-history of e-lit within the artistic program of poietic experimentation.

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David Wright