Digital Media and Literary Genres: Tracing a Hispanic Heritage

10 Jan 2016

Friday 15th January 4.15pm – Active Learning Space UCC



Digital Media and Literary Genres: Tracing a Hispanic Heritage

Professor Claire Taylor from the University of Liverpool

The emergence of new literary genres which have digital technologies as an integral part of their procedure has been one of the most notable developments in the literary field in recent decades. Significant research has already been undertaken on how these new genres entail a rethinking of the categories of text, authorship, and reader, amongst others. But there is a tendency to develop these theories with little reference to context, or to assume a mostly Anglophone model for their development. This paper proposes instead to explore how a specifically Hispanic tradition of literary experimentation informs contemporary digital genres. Viewing digital literary genres as works on a continuum, the paper addresses in particular the ways in which authors of digital works in the Hispanic world speak back to a rich Hispanic tradition of literary experimentation.

The paper takes as an example the poetic output of Belén Gache, one of the leading authors of experimental fiction in Argentina, and who has been pioneering in using digital media for artistic and literary purposes. The paper argues that what marks out Gache’s practice in these poems is not only the intertextual references she makes to Góngora’s Soledades, but also her metatextual references to the process of the poems’ own (digital) creation. As I aim to show, in Gache’s collection digital technologies come to stand for, and are allied with, Baroque literary innovation, yet at the same time, Gache cautions us against seeing digital technologies as purely liberating or ground-breaking. I argue that the techniques employed by Gache in the presentation of the individual poems make overt reference to digital technologies themselves, often referencing deliberately dated or limited technologies, and I explore how Gache’s practice often plays with (and yet questions or thwarts) key notions of interactive literature.

Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

First Floor - Block B East O'Rahilly Building University College Cork Ireland