August 24, 2007

Les Basiques: la littérature numérique

Poet Philippe Bootz offers a large, hierarchically-structured survey of electronic literature, Les Basiques. It looks, at first glance, to be a good, extensive survey of hypertext fiction and poetry, adopting a largely orthodox point of view. Bootz emphasizes French literature and electronic poetry somewhat more prominently than I might, but that's natural: he's French, he's writing in French, and he's a poet.

There are gaps, to be sure, as there inevitably must be in such a broad survey. Bootz appears to overlook Patchwork Girl, for instance, and Ed Falco's A Dream With Demons, among prose work that I would expect would appeal to him. There seems to be nothing of Deena Larsen's poetry, especially the pioneering Marble Springs. The edge case between poetry, prose, and something new, it seems to me, is Mary Kim Arnold's "Lust", which leads to work like Judd Morrissey's My Name Is Captain, Captain (with Lori Talley) and The Jew's Daughter. Some details might be investigated further; Mark Amerika's Grammatron is an important work, but I'm not entirely sure it was la première fiction sur Internet.

I may be mistaken in this; I've not had time to read extensively and my French is extremely poor. Bootz's essay, though, seems exceptionally approachable, even for a reader with my feeble reading knowledge.