Caring for Electronic Literature

Materialidades da Literatura

Text by Daniela Côrtes Maduro

ChristineWilks_OutofTouch Christine Wilks, Out of Touch (2011).

Words were once untraceable. Before the invention of writing, they would disappear as soon as they were shared. Writing turned words into discernible shapes. Print, in turn, allowed a precise control over the surface of inscription and, by extension, over language. Books are often related to fixity and durability and they are seen as stable and self-contained objects built to last. However, Dene Grigar believes that all texts, regardless of the format being used, are prone to obsolescence or deterioration. Like words in oral tradition, texts can fall into oblivion if they are not preserved or remembered.

During her presentation, Dene Grigar drew the attention to the etymology of the word “curate”. To Dene Grigar, curating Electronic Literature means caring for electronic literature. Thus, preserving and curating are activities that decisively contribute to rescue works from oblivion. Electronic literature…

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