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TraversalsThe Use of Preservation for Early Electronic Writing$
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Stuart Moulthrop and Dene Grigar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035972

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035972.001.0001

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Entity and Event: Electronic Literature in Context

Entity and Event: Electronic Literature in Context

(p.21) 1 Entity and Event: Electronic Literature in Context

Stuart Moulthrop

The MIT Press

This chapter reviews several definitions of electronic literature (“born digital,” digitally mediated, post-literary, radically computational), settling on a criterion in which the text features more as “event” than “entity,” operating in opposition to assumptions of integrity (“the textual whole”). Various instances and examples are discussed, from Christopher Strachey’s love-letter generator (perhaps the earliest example of digital composition) to Michael Joyce’s “novel of Internet,” Was. The chapter also frames this book’s investment in early digital productions and explains “traversals” and their motivation.

Keywords:   Born digital, Digitally mediated, Post-literary, Christopher Strachey, Michael Joyce, Novel of Internet, Love-letter generator

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