Mapping out Spaces for E-Lit Criticism

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

This paper explores the process of discovering works of elit by focusing on the role of the online literary journal. The heyday of Web 1.0, the late 1990s, gave birth to the first generation of electronic literature. To support this emergent art form, this period also delivered a multitude of online literary journals that showcased hypertexts, kinetic poetry, animations, and interactive fiction as well as scholarly articles, interviews with authors, book reviews, and critical discourse. But as the Web became a more graphic-friendly navigation space and debates about cybertext vs. hypertext took centerstage in critical forums, celebration of electronic literature in web-zines and journals seemed to dry up. In the first few years of the twenty-first century, most of the literary journals that had flourished in the late '90s had ceased operations. What are the spaces for electronic literature and its discovery in the 21st century? How do these spaces or lack of them map and remap the field of electronic literature and its criticism? This paper considers the implications of these questions by thinking about the changing spaces for discovering and discussing electronic literature online.

(Source: Author's abstract, 2008 ELO Conference)

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Scott Rettberg