From Theo Lutz to Netzliteratur. The Development of German-Language Electronic Literature

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

How and where would we have to begin if we want to bring the rather diverse
German-language scene of net literature to a closer attention of our European colleagues?
This definitely is no easy task, since today there are virtually no forums and archives of
German-language net literature existing anymore. Therefore it may not be possible to get an
accurate picture of the last 20 years’ net literature. Many sites and forums have been deleted
from the net, while others remain virtually inactive for years and have to be perceived as
internet archive corpses. A few are still active and provide material for current discussions.

Source: Author's Introduction

Pull Quotes: 

The call for an Internet Literature competition by the established German weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT in the years 1996, 1997 and 1998, got many creative efforts going. For one thing, it was unique that the competitions were not addressed to a specialized audience, but to everyone. Correspondingly, the response rate was large: a total of 700 projects were submitted for all three events together. The response triggered by the competitions was large and diverse. It included the formation of a very active community and a public debate on all aspects of the competition and a new genre for a new medium. The old media, however, did not adjust to the new phenomenon and were very skeptical.

The proclamation by the old media that German net literature was dead, set in around 2004/05. This was also the time when observers noticed a sharp drop in post-processing. Print press, radio and television criticized the disappearance of net literature. But as so often, the media did not look closely enough. Thus, it is not the lack of new net literature, but the lack of reviews and the lack of academic analysis and discourse that caused a death rhetoric.

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Patricia Tomaszek