Mutability, Medium and Character

Critical Writing
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Year: 
2002
Page Numbers: 
359-378
Journal volume and issue: 
36.3.
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All Rights reserved
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Abstract (in English): 

Looking specifically at the genre of adaptive narrative, this article explores the future ofliterature created for and with computer technology, focusing primarily on the trope of mutability as it is played out with new media. Some of the questions asked are: What can the medium of a work of literature, that is its material aspect, tell us about the text? About character? What can it possibly matter if narrative is recounted on papyrus, retold on parchment and rag, and then remediated in pixels? Isn’t it the message carried by the medium we are most concerned with, stable or unstable the process of inscription, reinscription, encoding and decoding, translation and remediation? This paper speculates about possibilities rather than attempts to answer these questions, but the structuring and mean-making components considered here stand as examples of some we may want to think about when developing future theories about literature – and all types of writing –generated by and for electronic environments.

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Dene Grigar