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Poetics archive at WRT: Writer Response Theory

Archive for the 'Poetics' Category



Ben Franklin Bot


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(See video of chatbot Ben Franklin’s Ghost in action)
You walk up to the oversized book at the front of a curious glassed in stage, something of a cross between a puppet theater and a mausoleum. It’s the tricentennial of Ben Franklin’s birth and you haven’t seen any sign of him yet. On closer […]


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Literary hypertext is experiencing a renaissance. As part of a year-long series on this renaissance, I would like to offer several posts about recent works in the form. Part of the renaissance comes from time travel. Note: This post builds on the ideas introduced in Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan’s new collection Second Person.

Time travel is a favorite topic for science fiction lovers and loveable losers, the Marty McFly in all of us. (see this U Michigan course onThe Drs. Phebson time travel lit.) The topic seems particularly popular in time-based and time-fixed media such as film (see this film list, for example. However, time travel becomes more than just a plotline of regret in the world of hypertext because through this narrative device moving from time period to time period becomes a metaphor for moving from page to page on the web. Or perhaps, another way to say it, drawing from N. Katherine Hayles’ terminology, the internet becomes a material metaphor for time travel.


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At MLA 2007 in Philadelphia, John Cayley introduced the idea of an “ideal syntax,” the parole that adheres to the langue or the code that will compile. It is this “ideal syntax” that many codeworks are writing against, disrupting, challenging, and distorting. Therefore, by not compiling, codeworks may be fighting the protocols. In that spirit, I present a draft of a markup poem I’ve been working on in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

So as not to break our feed with this resistant code, I will post a link here to the current version. WRT: Are their other code-based tributes to MLK, a man who has been added to the Federal Google Calendar but cannot be so easily compiled or processed?


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Happy New Year to everyone from WRT. :)
I’m just rereading Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum and came across a passage that I feel describes the joy that this strange device the computer can give a writer. So, I thought I’d share it with you. It is the transcript of a file created by Belbo on his […]


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Recently, WRT featured the art book 16 Months Worth of Drawing Exercises in Microsoft Excel. WRT interviewed artist Danielle Aubert about her Excel art, and more:

WRT: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Danielle Aubert: I’m based in Detroit. I moved out here in June of 2005 after finishing up an MFA program in graphic […]






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