The Virtualization of Poetry and Self

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

As with other world-changing discoveries or events, the use of computers and the Web have contributed to the ‘virtualization’ of ‘the ideas domain’ of poetry. By virtualization it is assumed that something has been made virtual. But not virtual as understood by the scientists or by commerce or by the entertainment industry that see virtualization as the transferring of a function from one physical form to another, like a virtual surgery with patient and doctors in separate physical locations or a virtual on-line marketplace like eBay or a virtual terrain as in virtual reality (VR) games. The virtualization of poetry does not mean taking the function of poetry in print or in performance and transferring it to the web, although this can be and has been a result of the virtualization. The virtualization of poetry has meant that the ideas domain of poetry has been re-thought and new questions and problems posited as a result of the new digital technologies. It has also meant that new actualizations have been realized in media that were not available to the poet in the past.

(Source: Author's abstract)

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Scott Rettberg