Comedies of Separation: Toward a Theory of the Ludic Book

Abstract (in English): 

To date, small effort has been given to create a general critical vocabulary for describing the wide range of digital literary works. This paper attempts to describe a range of effects in digital literature—relating to time, power, scale, duplication, being, and the ontology of the database—and introduces a new concept, the “simple,” here understood as a node of text/algorithm interaction. Several small-scale works that operate on one or two new media principles can be grouped under these simples. Cumulative works (such as the magisterial “88 Constellations for Wittgenstein” by David Clark) here known as “ludic books,” are described as being composed of several of these simples.

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Jill Walker Rettberg