Writing as collective assemblages in the age of (post)digital capitalism, or de-colonizing e-literature in the minor key.

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

In my proposition, I would like to explore the notion of the minor (Deleuze and Guattari, 1986), employed here as a theoretical tool allowing for a critical inquiry into multifarious e-literary post-internet practices, popularly referred to as Third-Generation E-Literature (Flores, 2019), and accompanied by third-wave e-literature scholarship (Ensslin et al., 2020). However, I am going to build on this notion following its recent repurposing by Anne Sauvagnargues (as the minor style) (Sauvagnargues, 2016) and Erin Manning (as the minor gesture) (Manning, 2016). Kathi Inman Berens aptly remarks (Berens, 2020) that de-colonization of e-literature requires multiplicity of perspectives, as it entails not only cultural hegemonies operating along geographical, ethnic and racial axes and following the set of distinctions shaped by modernist aesthetics, but it also needs to address widespread domination of Big Tech companies shaping the popular internet platforms, programming solutions and users' practices. Hence, pointing out to technotexts developed within and with the popular platforms, in instances of "an impersonal assemblage of enunciation" (Sauvagnargues, 2016, p. 25), I would like to explore the conceptual potential of "becoming-minor" (Sauvagnargues, 2016, p.22).

I am going to argue that to provide the accurate critique of the phenomenon, e-literary practices of writing with and within popular social platforms (flurf poetry, memes, Instapoetry) need to be framed in the context of neoliberal landscape of digital, metrics-oriented capitalism (Brown, 2015), exceeding debate fixated on the clash of aesthetic distinctions or generational differences. Seen from such perspective, third-generation e-literary practices often seem to thrive on exploiting the platforms' operational logics and mechanisms, "unmooring its structural integrity, problematizing its normative standards." (Manning, 2016, p. 1).

The strategies - based on mimicry and constituting the "vapors" (Olson, 2017) of ever-present and ubiquitous availability of digital networks - can be seem far from the openly voiced cultural critique. Nevertheless, to grasp the full potential of such "vaporized" collective writing assemblages, hitting the minor key (Manning, 2016, p.1) might be useful. De-colonization of electronic literature might then become less obvious in terms of communicational strategies, but more thoroughly shedding the light on what is below the (textual or even programmable) surface of networked technotexts.

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Cecilie Klingenberg