Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary

Critical Writing
Publication Type: 
xiii, 223
All Rights reserved
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

Hayles’s book is designed to help electronic literature move into the classroom. Her systematic survey of the field addresses its major genres, the challenges it poses to traditional literary theory, and the complex and compelling issues at stake. She develops a theoretical framework for understanding how electronic literature both draws on the print tradition and requires new reading and interpretive strategies. Grounding her approach in the evolutionary dynamic between humans and technology, Hayles argues that neither the body nor the machine should be given absolute theoretical priority. Rather, she focuses on the interconnections between embodied writers and users and the intelligent machines that perform electronic texts.

Through close readings of important works, Hayles demonstrates that a new mode of narration is emerging that differs significantly from previous models. Key to her argument is the observation that almost all contemporary literature has its genesis as electronic files, so that print becomes a specific mode for electronic text rather than an entirely different medium. Hayles illustrates the implications of this condition with three contemporary novels that bear the mark of the digital.

(Source: Publisher's catalog description)

Pull Quotes: 

To see electronic literature only through the lens of print is, in a significant sense, not to see it at all.

The immediacy of code to the text's performance is fundamental to understanding electronic literature, especially to appreciating its specificity as a literary and technical production.

[T]he computational media intrinsic to electronic textuality have necessitated new kinds of critical practice, a shift from literacy to what Gregory L. Ulmer calls "electracy."

Electronic Literature extends the traditional functions of print literature in creating recursive feedback loops between explicit articulation, conscious thought, and embodied sensorimotor knowledge.


Contents (Critical Writing):

Critical writing that references this:

Title Author Publisher Year
"A Machine Made of Words by a Machine Made of Numbers"- Authorial Presence in Niemi’s Stud Poetry David Boyles 2012
"Recensão sobre a Edição Brasileira do Livro de N. Katherine Hayles "Literatura Eletrônica: Novos Horizontes para o Literário" Daniela Côrtes Maduro Centro de Literatura Portuguesa, Revista de Estudos Literários 2012
A Short History of Electronic Literature and Communities in the Nordic Countries Hans Kristian Rustad Dichtung Digital 2012
An Institutional Approach to Building a Platform of Digital Literary Works: The Case(s) of Dutch and Flemish Digital Literature Siebe Bluijs 2021
An interview with Maria Engberg David Thomas Prater, Maria Engberg Cordite Poetry Review 2011
Anthological and Archaeological Approaches to Digital Media: A Review of Electronic Literature and Prehistoric Digital Poetry Stephanie Boluk Postmodern Culture 2009
Arte Digital: Pixel, Algoritmo, Código, Programação e Dados Álvaro Seiça idearte 2011
Arte Digital: Pixel, Algoritmo, Código, Programação e Dados Álvaro Seiça idearte 2011
Autorschaft und digitale Literatur: Geschichte, Medienpraxis und Theoriebildung Heiko Zimmermann WVT - Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier 2015
Born Digital: Writing Poetry in the Age of New Media Maria Engberg 2007
Challenging Tongues: The “Irreducible Hybridity” of Language in Contemporary Bilingual Poetry Laura Pfeffer Synthesis: An Anglophone Journal of Comparative Literary Studies 2012
Collaboration and authority in electronic literature David Thomas Henry Wright TEXT 2020
Collapsing Generation and Reception: Holes as Electronic Literary Impermanence Graham Allen, James O’Sullivan Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures 2016
Collecting digital literature in Europe J. R. Carpenter Jacket2 2011
Conditions of Presence: Topological Complementarities in The Silent History David M. Meurer Paradoxa 2017
Creative Practice and Experimental Method in Electronic Literature and Human Experimental Psychology Andrew Michael Roberts, Lisa Otty, Martin Fischer, Anna Katharina Schaffner Dichtung Digital 2012
Digital Art and Meaning: Reading Kinetic Poetry, Text Machines, Mapping Art, and Interactive Installations Roberto Simanowski University of Minnesota Press 2011
Digital Literature: Theoretical and Aesthetic Reflections Luciana Gattass 2011
Digital Poesi. Æstetisk Analyse og det Mediales Rolle i Kunstværkers Kommunikation Mette-Marie Zacher Sørensen 2013
Digital Poetry Leonardo L. Flores
The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Eric Dean Rasmussen