Towards a digital poetics

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dc.contributor.advisor Allen, Graham en
dc.contributor.advisor Murphy, Orla en O'Sullivan, James 2016-11-09T12:14:04Z 2016 2016
dc.identifier.citation O'Sullivan, J. C. 2016. Towards a digital poetics. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.description.abstract This thesis extrapolates electronic literature’s différance, proposing an ontology of the form through critical inspection of its traits and peculiarities. Rather than offering a prescriptive definition of electronic literature, this thesis takes an ontological approach through descriptive exploration. In essence, my approach is anti-essentialist, in that I dismiss the view that electronic literature has a specific set of attributes. As will be explored throughout, there are aesthetic properties which frequently emerge, but the implication of their presence remains transient, to the point where electronic literature cannot be one thing, for to be so, it could not be literary. Computational aesthetics resist stable definition, so if we are to achieve an understanding of what separates electronic literature – if it is indeed, separate – from its non-digital counterparts, then we must do so through an articulation of those differences which may, at first, be less apparent. It is an impossibility to state what electronic literature is, as in doing so, one is oblivious to what it might become. The heightened relationship between form and content encountered in this field means that electronic literature is continuously in flux. Literature, while equally resistant to definition, is at least recognisable to our faculties. As readers, we have long possessed the sensibilities necessary to discern the literary from the communicative. Non-digital literary content is open to evolution and experimentation, but predominantly, with a few exceptions, its paratextual form remains consistent. Electronic literature’s content is open to the same artistic manipulation as the physical, but its form too, symbiotically attached to the exponential rate of technological change, gives rise to phenomenological disruption. As multimodal aesthetics challenge our ability to perceive the literary, we should abandon our attempts at defining the relevant works, and instead, seek understanding through analyses of the means by which they differ, and of how they defer, from the literatures that have both preceded and characterised the digital age. This thesis does not seek to resolve the aporetic, but rather, demonstrates how we must extract our theories of the digital out of observation and analysis, as opposed to speculation. This is not to say that my peers are necessarily wrong; I will be in agreement with many of them on a number of matters. My purpose, rather, is to offer some synthesis to a field comprised of a multiplicity of divergent views. Throughout the process of presenting this notion of a new modernity, and offering synthesis to the theories that have emerged from this epoch, I will offer fresh insights and novel approaches to the literary practices of the digital age. In doing so, my purpose will be to contribute to the progression of a consistent and legitimate digital poetics by showing that it cannot be one thing, but a balance of forces – a poetics of equipoise. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language English en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2016, James O'Sullivan en
dc.subject Electronic literature en
dc.subject Digital humanities en
dc.title Towards a digital poetics en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en Indefinite en 10000-01-01
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en English en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out Yes en
dc.thesis.opt-out true
dc.check.entireThesis Entire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.embargoformat Both hard copy thesis and e-thesis en
dc.internal.conferring Autumn 2016 en

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