Fall 2021 Editors' Note

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

Upon opening the Fall 21 issue, you might be surprised to discover its breadth. Although The New River’s issue contents have historically been in the single digits, this season’s comprises 14 individual pieces, including an interview feature with writer and artist Lillian-Yvonne Bertram. Each work is strikingly different from the next, as the genres range from speculative interactive fiction to online sound installations to generative cruft.

As new media and digital writing continues to evolve, we’ve found that the line between our “literary” and “visual art” submissions has blurred. In fact, the boundaries of what constitutes digital literature and art has become more complex and–from our perspective–exciting. We edited this issue with an open enthusiasm toward works that engage digitality, rather than approaching it from a gatekeeping perspective. Upon encountering the following pieces, we were astounded by their ability to reimagine platforms, de/encode language, subvert expectations and agilely channel them into new outlets–all this without losing a pulse of emotiveness that kept us engaged. Even at their most experimental, we felt that these pieces had a deeply human vein. They share a concern with culture, sociopolitical context, the environment, our planetary futures, and our interpersonal (mis)communications. 

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Amanda Hodes