Exploiting Kairos in Electronic Literature: A Rhetorical Analysis

Critical Writing
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Year: 
2008
ISSN: 
0419-4209
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Abstract (in English): 

The purpose of this study is to expand on Wayne Booth's work in the Rhetoic of Fiction regarding methods directing readers toward understanding in fiction to include the possibilities for pursuation avaiable in electronic mediums. The story theorizes the the answers to the following: How are writers in electronic spaces appropirating, expanding, and subverting electronic devices honed in print? How has the kairos, or situational context, of electronic spaces been exploited? What new rhetorical devices are being developed in electronic spaces? What does the dialogue between print-based and electronic-based works offers to rhetorical scholars in terms of rhetorical analysis and composition? 

The study analyzes the rhetoric of electronic litearture, creative works composed for display in digital environments. Analysis focuses on works that remediate classic printed literature to electronic publication. Analysis begins with close reading and develops N. Katherine Hayles's theory of media-spesific analysis as well as the Bakhtinian-based concepst of dialogism. The work analyzed fit the definition of electronic liteature posted on the electronic literature webside, that is, "works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capapilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone networked computer". The study analyzes Shelly Jackson's Patchwork girl; George Hartley's "Madlib Frost Poem, Peter Howard's "Peter's Hiku Generator, Edward Picot's "Thirteen Wys of Looking at a Blackbird", and Helena Bulaja's "Coation Tales of Long Ago". For contast, the study analyzes John Barthes "Click", a printed short story that remediated electronic signinfiers. Six author interviews expand on data gained rhetorical analysis.

The study reveals how inovators in electronic mediums appropriate, expand, and subvert thetorical techniques honed in print-based practices. The study finds that since remediation changes kairos, the act provides an opportunity to understand emerging rhetorical thecniqus responsive to medium. Authors in electronica literature often wed literary techniques to technological possibilities, exploiting the capabilities of the new medium to advance literary and political rhetoric. The study finds that print-based practices linger in electronic publications and that electronic-based practices have become significant to print.    

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Kristina Gulvik...