Online Generative Literature

Research Collection
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This research collection is the corpus of my MA thesis ""To Teach and Delight": How Generative Literature Produces Literary Theory Anew"

In electronic generative literature, ideas of what literature is (supposed to be), are projected. In its algorithmic writing, generative literature mimics conventional literature while at the same time destabilizing its very foundations. This double practice makes generative literature apt to explore aspects of literary theory.

This leads to the following research question: How does generative literature divert from conventional literature in matters of agency and meaning-making and how does this give insight into the ways in which literary models and their empirical objects determine each other?

In exploring this question, I mean to add to the study of model theory as applied in literary studies (Erdbeer), as well as provide a further understanding of generative literature as an actor in the field of literature.

I have curated a research collection in the ELMCIP Knowledge Base to comprise a list of works of generative literature. Although generative literature appears across various media and forms, I have made the practical decision to only include works which are freely available online as websites. Due to reasons of time and scale, it is not possible for me to visit worldwide exhibitions which include, for example, installations containing generative literature. This online research collection allows me to read any work in its entirety online, without having to rely on just a documented abstract of the work. I will, however, make some references to offline generative literature throughout my paper. From the works in my research collection I have chosen certain works for close reading, while also keeping the overview and diversity in mind.

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Hannah Ackermans