eLiterature: Literature in the Digital Era. Definition, Concept and Status

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Abstract (in English): 

This paper deals with the concept of eLiterature and its digital status. It considers the relationship between literature and eLiterature and analyzes the main peculiarities of the latter. Passing through the concepts of paper-under-glass, digital born, hybridity, mutagenicity, ergodicity, agency and digital textuality, the paper offers a definition of electronic literature.

Abstract (in original language): 

In questo contributo si analizza il concetto di eLiterature e il suo statuto digitale. Si considera quindi il rapporto tra letteratura ed eLiterature e si presentano le caratteristiche peculiari di quest’ultima. Attraversando i concetti di digital born, paper-under-glass, ibridità, mutagenabilità, ergodicità, agency e testualità digitale si offre infine una definizione di letteratura elettronica.

Pull Quotes: 

Thus, it is certainly necessary to conceive of eLiterature first by recovering from the classical definition of Literature. Beginning from the etymology of the word, “literature” derives from the Latin word litteratura, which in turn derives from littӗra e littӗrae, according to the Greek model of γϕαµµατική; proper attention to the graphemes that constitute the word to which is given meaning by our cognitive system through the phases of subvocalization, verbalization, and semantic decoding. Otherwise, it is also necessary to consider eLiterature in a wider system mediated by the new digital technologies, where it still subsists the verbal feature, inheritance of the traditional definition, but it also insists an etymological creolization offered by the “e” which indicates that something new has powerfully entered the literature universe driven by the digital evolution in a cultural system historically defined by precise rules and boundaries.

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Patricia Tomaszek