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A Literatura Factorial [l!]

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

By focusing on hyperfiction, this paper presents some proto-hyperfictions, dealing with literature's combinatorial processes (ars combinatoria), and with its composition based on permutations. This practice, which continues today, although using different techniques and effects, I call factorial literature [l!]. My aim is to introduce the concept of factorial literature as a transtemporal genre that has been intensified in the context of electronic literature. In the analysis of hyperfiction, I return to the definitions of hypertext by Theodor Holm Nelson (1965) and Gérard Genette (1982). Referring back to essays by Italo Calvino (1967) on literature, mathematics and cybernetics, and articles by Robert Coover (1992, 1993) about the new literary practices in digital environments, I prepare the coordinates for a revaluation of hyperfiction's recent history and its software, namely through the transient concept of constant restart, associated with the reader's new role as user. This concept is catalyzed by the rewriting potential of the literary work and by a critical approach that participates in the same process: the artwork and criticism in progress.

Abstract (in original language): 

Centrando-se na hiperficção, este ensaio apresenta algumas proto-hiperficções, preocupadas
com as temáticas combinatórias da literatura, ars combinatoria, e com a sua composição permutacional, num movimento que ainda hoje decorre, embora usando técnicas e efeitos diferentes – que designo literatura factorial [l!]. Pretende-se introduzir o conceito de literatura factorial como género transtemporal, que se tem intensificado no âmbito da literatura electrónica. na análise da hiperficção, retomam-se as definições de hipertexto em Theodor Holm Nelson (1965) e Gérard Genette (1982). Juntamente com os ensaios de Italo Calvino (1967) sobre literatura, cibernética e matemática e com os artigos de Robert Coover (1992, 1993) sobre as novas práticas literárias nos ambientes computacionais, forjam-se as coordenadas para reavaliar a recente história da hiperficção e os seus softwares associados – o conceito transitório de constante recomeço, associado ao novo papel do leitor, tornado utilizador. Este conceito é catalisado pela obra como potencial de reescrita e pela crítica parasitada pela mesma função: a obra e a crítica em progresso.

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Patricia Tomaszek