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Just me and my life and my thoughts and my things, everyday, for everyone interested in..

Saturday, November 13

.:: e-literature and other stuff.

Yesterday during the workshop we started talking about a possible birth of a critic's class also in the e-litaratures field. Easily predictable, I think, but at the same time further than it could seem.
The e-literature is just moving its first steps and it's still such a messy and undefined world!
We need constraints, we need genres, we need paramethers for learnig how to judge, how to become critics. Til now I just heard positive comments about great e-literature works. But what about the bad stuff? I'm sure there has to be a lot of garbage out there, but none talks about it. Because we don't know how to distinguish the good stuff from the bad one. We dont' know , yet.
For centuries we have seen generations of critics capable of destroying books and writer's lives with their comments and reviews. But now all seems more polite.
I've always been thinking that the freedom gifted us from the Internet would be people's passport to sincerity: to wickedness and to goodness at the same time, but both extreme and extremely true. But it's not: I've been blogging for a couple of months and publishing photos in Flickr and I've received some (few) positive comments...but what about the bad but constructive feedback?
We aren't aware enough for judgeing. We are not confident enough in our capacity of making good "bad-comments".
In this messy huge new world we urgently need a compass. But what?


At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marina,

I'm Eirik (from the discussion group), and as you may remember I totally agree with you on this point (I've posted something similar in Norwegian in my blog at newth.net/eirik). Actually, I'm lucky enough to have a couple of regular readers of my blog who gives me feedback of the negative kind. They'll say when they disagree, point out mistakes in the text and tell me when the design doesn't work as intended. This was very useful a month ago, when I had a major redesign of the whole site and asked my readers for comments.

I've just added your website to my Bloglines account, so I'll be a regular reader from now on. I'll be sure to give you feedback of both kinds if I find it necessary. As for this posting, I think your conclusion sums it up very nicely. So no negative criticism there... :-)


At 6:12 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Though of course there IS criticism of electronic literature - though not yet much in the Nordic region, and none or very little in mainstream media. And I certainly think there is a need for more.

Look at Electronic Book Review (which, admittedly, is hard to navigate), Dichtung Digital, JoDI's hypertext criticism issues. There are books too, like this and journal articles - several of the papers given at MelbourneDAC were discussions of specific works. Nick Montfort and Stuart Moulthrop's reading of an interactive fiction is particularly fine, and there are others. Matt Kirschenbaum's grad students' close readings of electronic literature are good, too. And no, it's not all positive, though most of it is constructive int that it pays more attention to what's interesting and worth building on than on what is uninteresting.

But apart from that - you could say that there are more critics of electronic literature in the Nordic region than there are writers. There have been several MA and PHD theses written on electronic literature in the Nordic countries, and there are journal articles here - but there isn't much on Nordic e-lit because there isn't yet much Nordic e-lit.

So while I definitely agree that we need criticism of electronic literature, I think encouragement for producers is at least as important.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger QueenMab said...

this is a really good constructive comment! I found the links really useful. Thanx Jill, this is why you are a great teacher! ;-)

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Well, thank you, Marinella. Though of course, uh, constructive criticism of teachers is also cool... Also it has to be said that most criticism of electronic literature is in specialist journals and academic publications and probably not very accessible to regular readers or at all, if you don't already know about it. It would be great to get more simple reviews out into the mainstream press.

I know there's some Italian work on electronic literature, and - I can't read Italian so haven't looked at it.

Susana Tosca edited (edits?) Hipertulia which is Spanish/English and has many reviews of hypertext. I don't think she's really updating this anymore. Some are in English and some in Spanish (you don't read Spanish, do you?)

There's also Ludologica a series of case studies of video games that looks great that's only come out in Italian.

It seems also that Michael Joyce's afternoon, the first hypertext fiction, was translated to Italian very early - this is from Stuart Moulthop's personal timeline of Cybertext and Electronic Art1993: Italian translation of afternoon by Walter Vannini and Alearda Pandolfi, published by Elettro Libri/Human Systems of Milan along with the first Italian hypertext fiction, Ra-dio, by Lorenzo Miglioli.I don't know much more about Italian electronic literature, though if you search the Electronic Literature Directory for works written in Italian there's some. Have you looked at any of it yet?

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