Engl 302: Electronic Literature

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Introduction to course discussion of electronic literature

Introduction to course discussion of electronic literature

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  • 1. Interactive versus Print Narratives
  • 2. What is Unique About Hypertexts?
    • No single beginning or ending
    • Consequence:
      • Undoes the “teleological effect” of the text
      • The text no longer has a definite ending point
      • This is the actualization of Derrida’s “difference” where meanings are never closed off, grounded into a single meaning
  • 3. What is Unique About Hypertexts?
    • Roland Barthes: “The Death of the Author”
      • Loss of distinction between author and reader since the reader creates the path of the work.
      • Barthes preceded hypertexts, but anticipated them
      • “ It is not that the Author may not ‘come back’ in the Text, in his text, but he then does so as a ‘guest.’…He becomes, as it were, a paper-author: his life is no longer the origin of his fiction but a fiction contributing to his work.”
  • 4. What is Unique About Hypertexts?
    • Altering textual roles might bring us closer to altering the larger social roles of which textual ones are a feature….So it’s politicizing: a radical reading embodied in writing.
      • Bruce Andrews
    • Without linearity and sharp bounds between in and out, between absence and presence, and between self and other, philosophy will change.
      • George Landow
  • 5. What is Unique About Hypertexts?
    • Hot and Cool Media (Marshall McLuhan)
      • Hot media: audience is passive because medium gives lots of info (e.g. film)
      • Cool media: audience is active and has to fill in many unknowns (e.g. phone conversations)
        • Do we expect story to be more hot than cool?
        • When is it appropriate for stories to be hot? To be cool?
        • Are hypertexts too cool of a medium to ever be successful?
  • 6. What is Unique About Hypertexts?
    • The Return of Hot and Cool Media
      • Do we expect story to be more hot than cool?
      • When is it appropriate for stories to be hot? To be cool?
      • Are hypertexts too cool of a medium to ever be successful?
  • 7. What is Unique About Hypertexts?
    • N. Katherine Hayles:
    • In much the same way, an experienced computer user feels proprioceptive coherence with the keyboard, experiencing the screen surface as a space into which her subjectivity can flow. This effect marks an important difference between screen and print. Although a reader can imaginatively project herself into a world represented within a print text, she is not likely to feel that she is becoming physically attached to the page itself. On the contrary, because the tactile and kinesthetic feedback loops are less frequent, less sensually complicated, and much less interactive, she normally feels that she is moving through the page into some other kind of space. The impression has a physiological basis. The physical stimuli the reader receives with print are simply not adequate to account for the cognitive richness of the represented world; the more the imagination soars, the more the page is left behind.
      • - “The Condition of Virtuality” 198
  • 8. Embodiment and Electronic Texts
    • Hypertexts
    • Are our actions at the computer screen enough to justify “embodiment”?
      • Are we more embodied in connection to the computer than with print-bound media?
      • Is space understood/experienced differently in these media?
  • 9. Embodiment and Electronic Texts
    • Hypertexts
      • Matthew Miller’s Trip
      • E-Lit understood to be a journey
  • 10. Embodiment and Electronic Texts
    • Hypertexts
    • Ian Hatcher, “Signal to Noise”: http://clearblock.net/stn/
    • Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, “Bust Down the Doors!”:
      • http://www.yhchang.com/BUST_DOWN_THE_DOORS!.html
    • Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries. “Traveling to Utopia: A Brief History of Technology”:
      • http://www.yhchang.com/TRAVELING_TO_UTOPIA.html
    • J.R. Carpenter, “Entre Ville”
      • http://luckysoap.com/entreville/index.html
    • Ingrid Ankerson and Megan Sapnar, “Crusing”:
      • http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/ankerson_sapnar__cruising.html
    • Jay Bushman, “The Good Captain” (read just the beginning):
      • http://www.loose-fish.com/waifpole/the-good-captain/
    • David Theo Goldberg & Stefka Hristova (design by Eric Loyer), “Blue Velvet: Re-Dressing New Orleans in Katrina’s Wake”:
      • http://vectors.usc.edu/issues/5/bluevelvet/