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Mortara: a proposal for a new literary sub-genre base on hypertext and electronic iterature. By Juan Pablo Plata.

Mortara: a proposal for a new literary sub-genre base on hypertext and electronic iterature. By Juan Pablo Plata.

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Published by Juan Pablo Plata

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Published by: Juan Pablo Plata on Jul 09, 2011
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03/19/2014

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Mortara: a proposal for a new literary sub-genre base onhypertext and electronic literature. 
Mortara: a proposal for a new literary sub-genre base on hypertextand electronic literature.Mortara: Metafiction, literary illness and literary genres in threebooks by Enrique Vila-Matas.
 (Conclusion of research and proposal )
By Juan Pablo Plata
 ³One should go to a literature according with the spirit of the time, itshould be a mixed literature, crossbred, where boundaries are confusedand reality can dance on the border with fiction, and the rhythm erasesthe border. For some time now, I want to be a foreigner forever. For sometime now, I think that more and more literature transcends nationalborders to make profound revelations about the universality of humannature.´This was said by Enrique Vila-Matas during the acceptance speech of theXII International Prize Romulo Gallegos in 2001 for his book The verticaltravel.In an interview with Fernando Clemot for the magazine Paralelo Sur, Vila-Matas answered:"You once said that "the novel of the future will be multi-racial or it will benothing." What traits would define the novel of the future?If I knew how the future of the novel will be, I would already be writing it. "Finally, in the documentary Café con Shandy by Enrique Díaz Álvarez,Vila-Matas said:
 
"Walter Benjamin said that in our time the only work of art full of meaning,critical thinking, should also be a collage of quotations, fragments, echoesof other works. I added to this collage phrases and ideas relatively of myown invention and gradually I built an autonomous world, paradoxicallyclosely linked to the echoes of other works."With the resonance of the fragments just read above, we must concedethat the literary narrative has changed ostensibly since the time of Greekand Roman Classics classified under the genre of Epic nowadays. Wecan say without exaggeration that literary narrative has changed to thepoint of being almost impossible to classify it in its most recent forms.While we still tell stories or refer something, this is often done without aconflict that triggers the plot. Thus, style, resources and how we tellstories have changed so much until now that they now tend to producestrangeness between readers and literary critics. So, for the literarycommunity in general it has become a problem to define and classifyunder some genre these same manifestations that are a kind or new formin the history of literature, with a particular artistic development, explainedby the main traits of being hybrid, interactive and with a big amount of self-reflection or metafiction.Now if we consider previous conventions of literary narrative, either be anovel or a short story or literature of other genre, we must concede thatwe live in a different time than our ancestors and that even though we stillas humans keep telling stories, applications and tools to do so havemutated and changed. Suffice it to see movies, video games andhypermedia.We must reiterate and reaffirm now, that there are new narrative formsand different kinds and frames of literary compositions in the twenty-firstcentury and that they can not be place or they do not fit anymore under the awning of the genre known as novel as conceived by Mikhail Bakhtin,for example, or under other existent categories . The stories of our timeare not fixed or autonomous, instead they lend and rely on stories anddifferent kinds of content from other arts and they even depend on a self-reflection or metafiction (instructions to use fiction) to be used as
 
Professor Daniel Grassian, a specialist in hybrid fiction and electronicliterature says quoting George Landow. (In Hyrbrid fictions, 2003, p 172). Among the manifestations of this kind of works with a narrative like theone described above there is the trilogy, full of metafiction, by EnriqueVila-Matas, composed by Bartleby and co, Montano¶s malady and Doctor Pasavento, which was researched in this study with the purpose of doinga characterization of the three works - and other works in print andhypertext and in other digital media and interfaces by other authors andartists. It was a bet to propose a new narrative subgenre more precise for this type of innovative creations. The three books of Vila-Matas arefictions with loans to other arts and disciplines of human knowledge;these books are hybrid and metafictional, whose main topic is a certaintype of literary illness: in Bartleby & Co. is a discontinuous creative blockor fixed writer¶s block in western literature; in Montano¶s malady is theobsession with literature like happens to Don Quixote and finally in Doctor Pasavento the disease is the excessive exposure of some literary authorsversus reclusiveness of other writers. Academy, critics and readers have always found it difficult to recognize anovel in these three books of Vila-Matas or to find common literaryconventions acceptable as recipients (reader¶s expectation), toparaphrase here the theorist Hans Robert Jauss and his Theory of reception.These works of Vila-Matas, Journal of the species (Diario de lasespecies) by Claudia Apablaza and Kazbek by Leonardo Valencia, areheirs of avant-garde artists of the twentieth century, of the rebelliousnessof the Nouveau Roman and of the roman a clef or novel with a key. In thesame way, they are debtors of the technology that appeared in thetwentieth century, which allows to view moving pictures combined withaudio, and to have hypertext mixed multimedia and many more. Now, wemust also recognize that these works are heirs to two great novels of western literature: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes and TristramShandy by Laurence Sternes, but we must accept that they have bignoticeable differences and gaps. If the works of Cervantes and Sterne

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