Poética Quántica: Closing the Literary Gap in Latin American E-Lit

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Abstract (in English): 

To read e-literature is to use multiple literacies. New media theory stresses the role of user interactivity or engagement, but it is critical to also engage with the hermeneutic readings leading us to question, what does it all mean? How is e-literature proposing phenomenological questions regarding selfhood/identity, communication, spirituality, consciousness? 

Poets and artists are instinctively reflecting an awareness of the paradigm shift that surged with quantum mechanics. Curiously, those same theories have been part of the long tradition of ancient Eastern mysticism. This dialogue between the two that began in the 1950s and resurged in the mid 1970s is very vibrant and present in today’s electronic literatures, particularly those with poetic inclinations. 

This presentation will briefly give an overview of my current manuscript Poética Quántica that examines how e-literature in Latin America reveal universal questions that have long been meditated in Eastern mysticism and have been paralleled in quantum physics discoveries. It is not an inquiry into the dialogue between the scientific and humanistic discourses, nor are these works simply “digitalizing literature” or just techy creations. Rather the study shows how these pieces have deep philosophical tendencies that draw connections with the socio-human cosmos-vision, as well as foresight about the meaning of being human, and the social philosophy behind alterity, otherness and the observer-I-Other quantum relation. The selected digital works speak of the diverse, regionalized and multi-ethnic reality of the Latin American experience in the realm of contrasts, contradictions and socio-cultural diversity where the Other harmonizes with radical multi-culturalism. 

These poet-artists, with or without intent, are literally closing the literary gap in Latin American literature by drawing subconsciously and/or accidentally on the shift in consciousness of our understanding of the world, and a new cosmos-vision due to quantum discoveries: that there is indeed a systemic or networked view of life (chapter 1), that effects of synchronicity may be tangible (chapter 1), that parallel universes are possible (chapter 2), that consciousness is a temporal and collective all-at-once (chapter 3), and that time is not a separate entity (chapter 4). The pieces themselves are creative, fun and engaging but become intellectually stimulating and emotionally charged as we dive into a deeper understanding of “how it is what it is,” to borrow Susan Sontag’s phrase. 
I would like to propose a discussion of how e-literature does indeed reflect the way we think about culture, society and what it means to be human—very different than how traditional literature approaches these epistemological questions. The technologies used affords these artists/poets ways of experimenting, manipulating, creating and simulating ideas that are best placed in interfaces or formats that require participation (auditory, kinetic, visual, tactile). This is, a cultural study of how electronic literature is salient to our understanding of the world as we dive into their quest for an adequate explanation of contemporary reality.

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Miriam Takvam