This book by N. Katherine Hayles, published by the University of Notre Dame Press, is published in an edition that includes the Electronic Literature Collection, volume 1, on CD-ROM. There is a companion site online offering information about the book and resources. Read the introduction by ELO President Joseph Tabbi.
Electronic Literature: What Is It? surveys the development and current state of electronic literature, from the popularity of hypertext fiction in the 1980′s to the present, focusing primarily on hypertext fiction, network fiction, interactive fiction, locative narratives, installation pieces, “codework,” generative art and the Flash poem. It also discusses the central critical issues raised by electronic literature, pointing out that there is significant overlap with the print tradition. At the same time, the essay argues that the practices, texts, procedures, and processual nature of electronic literature require new critical models and new ways of playing and interpreting the works. A final section discusses the Preservation, Archiving and Dissemination (PAD) initiative of the Electronic Literature Organization, including the Electronic Literature Collection Volume I and the two white papers that are companion pieces to this essay, “Acid Free Bits” and “Born Again Bits.” Intended audiences include scholars, administrators, librarians, and funding administrators, respectively, who are new to electronic literature and for whom it is hoped this essay will serve as a useful introduction. Because this essay is the first systematic attempt to survey and summarize the fast-changing field of electronic literature, artists, designers, writers, critics, and other stakeholders may find it useful as an overview, with emphasis on recent creative and critical works. This essay is by N. Katherine Hayles.
Electronic literature is not just a “thing” or a “medium” or even a body of “works” in various “genres.” It is not poetry, fiction, hypertext, gaming, codework, or some new admixture of all these practices. E-Literature is, arguably, an emerging cultural form, as much a collective creation of new terms and keywords as it is the production of new literary objects. Both the “works” and their terms of description need to be tracked and referenced. Hence, a Directory of Electronic Literature needs to be, in the first place, a site where readers and (necessarily) authors are given the ability to identify, name, tag, describe, and legitimate works of literature written and circulating within electronic media. This essay grew out of practical debates among the ELO’s Working Group on the Directory, established in the Spring of 2005 and active through the Winter of 2006. The essay offers a set of practical recommendations for development, links to potentially affiliated sites, and an overall vision of how literary form is created in a networked culture. The essay is intended to set a direction for the next phase of Directory development (Fall 2007), central to the ELO’s mission of making a place for literary work (and works) in electronic environments. Finally, and as yet tentatively, the essay offers speculations on how this curatorial activity can be coordinated with similar initiatives in the arts and with stakeholders in the current development of a Semantic Web. This essay is by Joseph Tabbi.
The Electronic Literature Collection is a periodical publication of current and older electronic literature in a form suitable for individual, public library, and classroom use. The publication is available both online and as a packaged, cross-platform CD-ROM, in a case appropriate for library processing, marking, and distribution. The contents of the Collection are offered under a Creative Commons license so that libraries and educational institutions will be allowed to duplicate and install works and individuals can share the Collection with others.
This report is available online. Born-Again Bits: A Framework for Migrating Electronic Literature is an outcome of the PAD (Preservation, Archiving, and Dissemination) project. The report, by Alan Liu, David Durand, Nick Montfort, Merrilee Proffitt, Liam R. E. Quin, Jean-Hugues RÃ©ty, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, was published in July 2005.
This pamphlet is available in print and online. Acid-Free Bits: Recommendations for Long-Lasting Electronic Literature is an outcome of the PAD (Preservation, Archiving, and Dissemination) project. It is by Nick Montfort and Noah Wardrip-Fruin, and was published in June 2004.
Keynote addresses, papers, and electronic literature from the State of the Arts Symposium are collected in this book and CD. State of the Arts: The Proceedings of the 2002 Electronic Literature Organization Symposium was edited by Scott Rettberg and published in March 2003.
All ELO publications are available free of charge to anyone who requests them, as long as supplies last. To request any of these publications, send a written request to: Electronic Literature Organization / Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) / B0131 McKeldin Library / University of Maryland/ College Park, MD 20742