Claire Taylor, University of Liverpool
Literary Heritage and Digital Media
 negotiations of existing literary genres
 variety of works on a continuum
 speak back to rich Hispanic tradition of literary
 New media genres don’t exist in vacuum
 Dialogue with pre-digital literary movements:
 e.g. poesía concretista; caligramas; testimonio;
(New) Hybrid Forms...
 Twitter-poetry
 Electronic ballads
 Blog-aforismos
 Hypertext short stories
 Blognovela
 Novela colectiva
 Hypertext short stories
 Hypertext documentaries
 Anipoemas
 Microrrelatos.....
Twitter Poetry
Growing and popular genre
Cf Jason Camlot tickertext1 and tickertext2 (2010)
Gavin Heaton TwitterPoetry (2007-)
creative use of Twitter’s formal aspects, partic.
restriction to 140 characters
 Cf haiku
 Creative use of digital aspects, partic. possibilities for
re-tweetings & linking of Twitter content to other
social media platforms
 Eduardo Navas
Eduardo Navas: Poemita
 individual micropoems
 Shared themes: new media technologies themselves; poetic
medium; political statements
‘Once upon a time, a cloud became the paradigm of
time-worn literary trope
classic feature of haiku: reference to the natural
BUT tag clouds: keyword metadata quantified & visualized
Electronic Ballads
 Argentine-Spanish author Belén Gache
 Radical karaoke (2011)
 re-mixes set phrases and commonplaces
 allows the reader-user to create re-mixes of voice,
sounds, images, and special effects
 draws on Hispanic heritage of ballads & oral poetry
 AND on technologically-enabled karaoke
Radical karaoke
Radikal Karaoke
 3 options:
Ex Africa semper aliquid novi
2. Mirad como Kate presume de su anillo
3. We have no past, you have no present
 Pliny the Elder: Africa always brings us something
 Kate Middleton-mania...
 Intertextual reference to punk...
Radikal Karaoke
 V6: slaves; trapped in
system of corporate
 Text: ‘nosotros somos los
 V4: hyponotized by
consumerism, slave to
 User interpellated into
the system
 Navas’s Minima Moralia Redux (2011-)
 re-mixes and visualizes Adorno’s Minima Moralia:
Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben (written 1944-47)
Adorno: 153 aphorisms
Punning on Aristotle’s treatise on ethics, Magna Moralia
Adorno: social practices and institutions, political and
economic structures, the bourgeois era and the fate of the
Andreas Bernard, ‘Adorno’s attempt to spell out the
alienation of the individual into its minutest ramifications
in everyday life’
Challenging the Libro de Aforismos
as Genre
 Adorno: speak out against alienation
 awaken the reader to his/her situation:
 Caught in the political and economic structures
constructed by the state in alliance with capital
very genre itself – a collection of aphorisms – is
undermined by the content
book of aphorisms is a bourgeois genre
conduct literature: how to behave in accordance with
societal norms
Adorno: unmask the structures underlying social norms
Navas’s Aforismos
Boxes of lexia, based on Adorno’s original
remixed visualization
E.g Aphorism 14
Adorno: ‘Private life however is also marked by this’
Navas: ‘Private life is certainly marked by this, quite
inevitably, given that the concept of “private” was originally
conceived by the very system that now data-mines it in the
name of the emerging social media market’.
 Just as Adorno critqued the medium of aphorism, so too
Navas critiques medium of social media...
Aphorisms for the Twenty-First
Adorno’s aphorism
Navas’s remixed aphorism
Hypertext Short Fictions
Belén Gache, WordToys (2006)
14 individual short fictions
e.g. ‘¿Por qué se suicidó la señorita Chao?’
Story: response to the question posed in the title
generated at random by an algorithm
sequence of lexia in different coloured fonts
principal actors in the story – ‘la sociedad china’, ‘la
señorita Li’ ‘sus padres’
 recombined along with set phrases & outcomes
Belén Gache, WordToys (2006)
 narrative multi-sequentiality as enabled by new media
role of character within new narratology
YET: limits of these potentially liberatory new media
always ends on same concluding sentence to the story:
‘Dado que la sociedad se ha tornado en extremo peligrosa,
debemos estar alertas para evitar que nos infrinja a
nosotros mismos su golpe fatal.’
Citation from Mao Tse Tung
conclusion to the story is already pre-written....
 Continuing dialogue between print and digital formats
 Literary experimentation online
 Self-reflexive status
 Role of reader-user in activating the works
 Often critique of limitations of digital media
Try Them Out for Yourself...
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From Print to Hypertext: Digital Media and New