Towards an Aesthetics of Sculptural Fiction

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

As a writer of electronic literature who is also deeply engaged with computational narrative, my goal is producing work both engrossing to read and also engaging to play. How can (and why should) we expand an e-lit reader's affordances beyond selecting what lexia to view next, to take on a more active role of creator and co-author? For the past few years my work has been exploring these questions in a series of experiments towards an aesthetics of sculpturalfiction. By "sculptural" I mean to suggest that an encounter with such a work has qualities similar both to the act of sculpting-- playful exploration, encompassing many small acts of expression and decision-making-- but also the way asculpture is encountered: on the audience's terms, without a set script, for as much or as little time as the viewer is interested. Sculptural fiction implies continuous interaction with a piece where exploration and self-expression are both integral to the experience. I believe it illuminates an interesting corner of existing e-lit work in a new way, and provides an intriguing direction for future exploration.

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Sumeya Hassan