Genre, Form, and Cultural Practice in Contemporary Electronic Literature

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

“Born Digital: Writing in Digital Media” examines practices of digital literary writing. Through “close reading” of digital works Engberg argues that digital poetry has characteristics that take it beyond the bounds of the poem as a traditional literary artifact. Digital poems offer themselves as “poemevents” that are enacted in ways particular to the digital medium. On the one hand, digital poetry (as well as literary and artistic digital works in general) can be considered in literary and artistic traditions such as concrete poetry, language poetry etc, and thus requires the literary-critical community’s response. On the other hand, it is also increasingly evident that “digital writing” exists in multifarious and emergent forms that require an expanded way of analyzing which is rooted in the individual poetics of the practitioners as well as the cultural and technological situation of networked digital media today. The paper addresses possible critical responses to this dialectic of past and present, avant-garde and popular, influenced in particular by Johanna Drucker’s discussion of complicity (Sweet Dreams, 2005).

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Patricia Tomaszek