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Title: E-literature
Other Titles: The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Posthuman
Authors: Callus, Ivan
Aquilina, Mario
Keywords: Literature and technology
Humanism in literature
Human beings in literature
Computer prose
Computational linguistics
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Citation: Callus, I., & Aquilina, M. (2016). E-literature. In B. Clarke & M. Rossini (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Posthuman (pp. 121-137). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Abstract: It reflects the nature of E-Literature (E-Lit) - electronic literature, or literature that is often defined as "born digital" - that some of the most helpful guides to it and its most comprehensive archives are to be found online. There may always be something slightly paradoxical in approaching born-digital (or, indeed, digital-only) literary practice through a different medium, but this chapter is set up not in lieu of the ampler digital resources devoted to E-Lit, which the reader is encouraged to explore (the links at the website of the Electronic Literature Organization,, provide some excellent prompts), but to offer some reflections on. E-Lit's affinities with the posthuman. With this in mind, the next two sections briefly survey some broader relations between literature and (post)humanism, ahead of the more focused discussion on E-Lit and its posthuman affinities, developed in the final two sections. The preliminary considerations provide some depth of field to views on how the "tradition" (in T. S. Eliot's sense) can find itself realigned at interfaces between E-Lit and the posthuman. At those interfaces, the point is not so much "individual talent," but rather such conceptions as text generators and distributed cognition, as well as "expressive processing," "recombinant poetics," "the polyphonic nature of digital identity," and dynamic heterarchies determined by multi-tiered feedback and feedforward loops, where "continuing interactions... continuously inform and mutually determine each other." In the forefront, therefore, is the question of the nature and extent of E-Lit's arguably post-literary space.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacArtEng

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