Changing Words: Time and Space in Electronic Literature

Paola Di Gennaro

Abstract


Printed literature and electronic literature, especially hypertexts, bring into play diverse issues of time and space. When approaching them, we should use different critical frameworks, at least in one respect: the analysis of a hypertext cannot forget considerations about time and space in the act of reading – or performing – the text. Hypertexts generate many different possible readings thanks to the changing and shifting links which move in hyperspace. Therefore, if in considering these issues in electronic literature we can obviously apply all the critical categories we use with printed works, here we cannot avoid considering the time and the space that are not “inside” the text but “outside” the text. This essay tries to explain the relationship between these external and internal time-space issues in electronic literature, how they interlink and mutually change, and how the act of reading both modifies and is modified by them. In particular, we will consider the web-based poetry When the Sea Stands Still (1997), by John Cayley and Yang Lian, and Rice (1998), by the artist known as Geniwate, basing the analysis on the studies by Espen Aarseth, Wolfgang Iser, Frank Kermode, Ted Nelson, and Edward Said.


Keywords


Hypertexts; time; space

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1308

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-17011

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