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Note from the editors

Current issue : Fall 2008

In September of 2008, The Guardian devoted space to an Andrew Gallix essay on the current state of Electronic Literature.  This in itself is significant—an acknowledgement by one of the major newspapers of the English-speaking world that new media writing is worthy of its thoughtful attention.  Yet after recapping some of the highlights of the form, the column’s tone becomes dispiriting: “So far, the brave new world of digital literature has been largely anti-climatic... Perhaps e-lit is already dead.”

Friends, rest assured we do not share this conclusion.

However, we understand how one can come to believe that electronic literature is a dud: it’s been two decades since the first hypertexts appeared and there’s yet to be a single electronic work that has generated a fraction of the commercial interest as the latest Stephen King novel.  Or, for that matter, a fraction of the mainstream critical attention typically bestowed upon the latest Philip Roth or Marilyn Robinson novel.  There are no blockbusters, no best sellers in the world of electronic literature.  Despite all the ballyhoo, enthusiasts of electronic literature remain a relatively small coterie of practitioners and academics.  Far from being relegated to antique store shelves next to Edison cylinders and stereoscopic cards, the book is alive and well. more...

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