Hyperrhiz 16: Essays
Spanish Digital Literature in the Garden of the Forking Paths
Dolores Romero López
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Spanish Digital Literature is a field of artistic experimentation which attracts the attention of many writers, critics and readers every day. Its heartbeat began in the late 90s. During these twenty years the launch of digital literature has coincided with the crises in textuality to which digital media has given rise. In addition, the creativity of the so-called ‘digital natives’ is an added factor that is giving good and substantial results. The new commitment to digital reading has been enough to bring about a knowledge crisis capable of formulating new socio-cultural changes, innovative ways of disseminating information and novel beliefs, which is what we are already witnessing. This article shows the forking paths of Spanish digital literature. After the discussion about how digital literature emerged, original textual forks emerge: Trans/Genres, Trans/Trends, Trans/Themes and Trans/Nations are the new paths digital writers are crossing through now. Clavy and @Note are mentioned as tools to develop repertoires of digital literature (Cyberia) or digitized text (Mnemosyne) created by LEETHI and ILSA Research Groups.
Spanish Digital Literature in the Garden of the Forking Paths
In the work of Ts’ui Pên, all possible outcomes occur; each one is the point of departure for other forkings.
— Jorge Luis Borges
The conflict between globalization and cultural identity that we are currently perceiving in Spanish Literature is the result of the evolution of multicultural studies that proliferated in the United States during the decade of the 90s and that were undermining the theoretical approaches to general or comparative literature (Gillespie, 2004). Cultural studies questioned literary theory because of its elitist approaches and its ‘impostures’ when reading the texts (Patai and Corral: 2005). While this theoretical/cultural shift was in full swing at the American academy, the field of Comparative Literature was institutionalized in Spain. During the decade of the 90s philological studies started to open up to areas of knowledge, such as ideology, gender, the position of the subject, the other, the institution, reader or pedagogy (Romero López, 1998: 45). This multifaceted cultural diaspora was added to a new theoretical dissent: hypertext, and its praxis: digital literature. New forms of creation were breaking through and taking advantage of technological innovations in the interstices of the post-colonial, trans-national or intra-marginal.
In Spain, this shift to hypertext, hypermedia, digital literature and digital humanities has been fuelled by various publications. One of the most prominent pioneers in the field is Jenaro Talens, with his publication of El lugar de la teoría de la literatura en la era del lenguaje electrónico (The Place of Literary Theory in the Age of Electronic Language) (1995), in which numerous questions are raised about the space occupied by literature in this new digital universe. In 1995 he published Escritura contra simulacro. El lugar de la literatura en la era de la electrónica (Writing against Simulacrum. The Place of Literature in the Electronic Age), in which he claims that since the social entities of today are not the same as those that gave rise to what we now know as literature, the concept should be called into question. This nihilistic view of literary matters in the context of new technologies is also found in his text El robot ilustrado y el futuro de las Humanidades (The Illustrated Robot and the Future of the Humanities) (2000). Although Jenaro Talens helps spread the apocalyptic vision of the literary fact presented by Alvin Kernan in The Death of Literature (1990) and Michaels and Knapp’s statement (1982) on the ‘end of theory,’ he opens up the way to electronic language as a new articulated universe.
The year 2000 saw the publication of Literatura e Hipermedia. La irrupción de la Literatura interactiva: precedentes y crítica (Literature and Hypermedia. The Emergence of Interactive Literature: Precedents and Criticism), in which the author, Nuria Vouillamoz, reflects on models of hypertext and multimedia, as well as aspects of electronic literature such as dynamism, interactivity and open authorship. Although María José Vega begins her introduction to Literatura hipertextual y teoría literaria (Hypertextual Literature and Literary Theory) (2003) with a certain scepticism towards these new changes, this does not prevent her from giving recent hypertextual literature the attention it deserves. The topics covered in her book range from hypertext, tradition and the canon, hypertextual literature and virtual reality, to hypertextual reading. Antonio Rodríguez de las Heras has undertaken a huge research project on new technologies and humanistic knowledge, which was begun at the Carlos III University in Madrid (2001 and 2004). Following in his footsteps, Domingo Sánchez-Mesa published Literatura y cibercultura (Literature and Cyberculture) (2004), responding to the need to address the challenges to literature presented by the new communication paradigm, going beyond the use of computing tools (non web-based) in an empirical phase of philological study. Susana Pajares Tosca titled her thesis Literatura digital. El paradigma hipertextual (Digital Literature: The Hypertextual Paradigm) (2004). This was the first analysis in the Spanish language of the principal characteristics of the new hypertextual paradigm: multilinearity, multimedia, multiplicity, interaction, dynamism and connection. In 2005, Textualidades electrónicas. Nuevos escenarios para la literature (Electronic Textualities. New Scenarios for Literature), edited by Laura Borràs, appeared on the bookshelves, presenting a new purview of the interdisciplinary literary-technological problem: digital literature and the questioning of the post-human subject in the Internet scenario. Anzo Abuín and Teresa Vilariño published Teoría del hipertexto. La literatura en la era electronic (Hypertext Theory. Literature in the Electronic Age) in 2006, with a translation of canonic articles by E. Aarseth, J.D. Bolter, J. Clément, P. Delany, J. Y. Douglas and M. Joyce. This book outlines the need for ‘connected intelligence’, which allows us to create connective links through work groups in order to tackle the urgent task of incorporating new digital advances in our literary studies. Two other books, Literatures in the Digital Age: Theory and Praxis (Sanz and Romero: 2007) and Literaturas del texto al hipermedia (Literatures from Text to Hypermedia) (Romero and Sanz: 2008) present the results of an international seminar held at the Complutense University of Madrid from the 21st - 23rd September, 2005, organized by the LEETHI Research Group (“Literaturas Españolas y Europeas del Texto al Hipermedia”) and the AILC/ICLA Research Committee “Comparative Literature in the Digital Age.”
Spanish Digital Literature is now an artistic experimentation field which attracts the attention of many authors, critics and readers every day. Its heartbeat began in the late 90s. During these twenty years the launch of digital literature has coincided with the crises in textuality to which digital media has given rise (Romero López 2012). In addition, the creativity of so-called ‘digital natives’ is an added factor that is giving positive and substantial results (Pressman 2014). The new commitment to digital reading has been enough to bring about a knowledge crisis capable of formulating new socio-cultural changes, innovative ways of disseminating information and novel beliefs, which is what we are already witnessing. This essay shows the forking paths of Spanish digital literature. After the discussion about how digital literature emerged, the new textualities appearing on the digital literary paths will be reviewed.
The Genesis of the Forking Paths
There were printed hypertexts in Spanish literature before digital hypertext ever existed. In general, the works cited as precedents for hypertextual writing are selected based on two criteria: the desire to experience the collective, and the rupture of narrative linearity (Douglas 1992). Creativity as a social value, which generates collective communication, is one of the original features of Internet ideation (Toschi 1996). David Casacuberta (2003) develops the thesis that one of the most radical changes new information and communication technologies are producing in our culture is precisely the opportunity for collective creation. In Spanish literature, collective creation can be traced from the old kharja, songs and ballads to the collective novel as conceived of by Sinesio Delgado in Las vírgenes locas, (The Mad Virgins), the surrealist Cadáver exquisito (Exquisite Cadaver) and many others. In the year 2001 Lorenzo Silva, with the publishing house Círculo de Lectores (The Readers’ Circle), decided to embark on the challenge of creating a novel with the help and participation of his readers. La isla del fin de la suerte (The Island at the End of Luck) wound up being an extremely intense thriller with profound psychological twists. Many other examples came out with the support of El Mundo. Those who set up such initiatives justify the fact that these projects of collective creation should be carried out on the Internet due to the speed and ease of communication this new medium provides. Another feature of digital literature is non-linearity (Aarseth 1993, Cotte 1999). This idea is present in many Latin-American writers. Within literature in Spain, Max Aub’s novel Juego de cartas (Card game) (1964) is cited as a precedent (Gómez Trueba 2005), since its plot is based on the combinatory possibilities of a game of cards. Many others have been added to the list since then.
The two issues discussed – the experience of the collective and the rupture of linearity – are two basic features for interpreting the precedents of hypertext literature written in Spanish, and the examples mentioned constitute a showcase of modes of writing and current narrative models. The idea of the collective in literature is easily found in the first hypertext stories. For example, it can be discovered within the experimental project entitled Un mar de historias (A Sea of Stories) (2005), created by three postgraduate students, Xiomara Acosta, María Jesús Vidal and Álvaro López Santos, at the School of Sociology, A Coruña University. The project combines elements from the oral tradition with traditional auditory features. The authors intend to offer a variety of Galician maritime legends in the form of interactive literature, in which at any time, one may choose the trajectory of the readings, selecting which connections to make, and which characters (Toñito, Gervasio or Capitán Risco) take on the role of narrator. It is noteworthy that this hypertext adopted the oral characteristics of traditional literature as the basis of its narrations. The oral tradition entails the presence of the narrator before the audience; in virtual stories, there is a high degree of interactive participation by the users (Vouillamoz 2000).
Most of the first digital authors are unknown by the general public as novelists or poets, but they always leave some interesting paths in the work they publish online. Authorship is generally shared by story inventors and technicians. Quite a few hypertextual digital writing projects are carried out by students of journalism, who undertake this sort of university work under the guidance of their teachers. The works are mainly adapted to the taste of young people: collages, chats, e-mails, images mixed with words and music and the influence of comics and detective plots (Carrasco 2011). Favorite subjects have to do with games, diaries, adventures, love stories, loneliness... The characters are, for the most part, young people with young people’s problems, involving identity, falling in and out of love, social conflict, etc.
Digital literature is promoted in a context that is provided with a network of directories. The one directed by José Luis Orihuela from the University of Pamplona dedicated to hyperfiction in Spanish was the first on-line archive. Joaquín Aguirre Romero and Susana Pajares Tosca encourage digital literature through the periodical publication Hipertulia at the Complutense University. A third pioneering group is Hermeneina led by Laura Borrás. She is mainly interested in global digital literature, with two main focusses: American and Catalan digital works. In September 2009 Juan José Díez opened a Webpage dedicated to Hispanic electronic literature in the Biblioteca Virtual Cervantes (Cervantes Virtual Library). He gathers narrative works written in Spanish, information about authors and critical references, while emphasizing works by Latin American authors. The latest contribution to public collections focusing on digital literature written in the Spanish language is Cyberia, a digital library coordinated by María Goicoechea (2014), with the collaboration of Laura Sánchez and Ana Cuquerella. They are responsible for the compilation of works and they propose many literary and artistic categories. This library, conceived as an interoperable database, will exchange categories with international databases like the ones in CELL. The Cyberia digital library was developed with the aid of the tool Clavy. Clavy is an RIA (Rich Internet Application) that is able to import, preserve, and edit information from collections of digital objects so as to build bridges between digital repositories and create collections of enriched digital content. Clavy also provides a basic system of data visualization, edition and navigation. There are plans to integrate @Note, a collaborative annotation application, into Clavy.
These repositories are the evolution of digital literature in Spain. It is easily detectable that it has gone from the simple compilation of resources to international taxonomy categorization. These particular repertories are starting to receive support through initiatives such as prizes and institutional events. As for prizes, in 2007 the LETHI Digital Literature Award was the first one dedicated to digital literatures written in the Spanish language. In 2008 Yuxtaposiciones’08. Microfestival de poesía y polipoesía (Poetry and Polypoetry Microfestival) took place at La Casa Encendida in Madrid. The International Digital Poetry Festival was held in Barcelona in 2008.
Over the last twenty years, due to the growing number of digital works, the notion of genre has expanded and its categorical limits have become increasingly porous. The trend to perpetuate the classical Aristotelian literary genre canon, updated with some peculiarities of the technological format, can still be perceived. In poetry, new subcategories have been unveiled: hypertext poems, moving letters poems, words-in-movement poems, moving phrases poems and poems in movement, animated poetry, E-minstrelsy poetry, or computer-assisted poetry. One of the trends in digital poetry is to imitate the vanguard principles of game, displacement and rupture with the linearity of traditional poetry. There is only one additional formal resource exceeding the avant-garde of early 20th century aesthetics: movement. Words, verses, stanzas are moved with agility on the screen, which determines a poetics of movement which critics need to assess from the historiographical point of view. The last sense of the poem, the depth of feelings and intuitions, is not altered by the machine, but enhanced precisely by those principles of fragmentation and movement that explode on the screen.
Theatre is still taking its first steps in the digital world. The current trend on the stage for presenting dialogue between words and images shows the vitality and necessity of this symbiosis. The dramatic project "Beyond the Fence", is the first musical produced entirely by computer, which premiered at the Arts Theatre in London in February 2016. In its creation, involving professionals from around the world; Pablo Gervás, Professor of the Department of Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence at the Complutense University has collaborated. He is the father of PropperWryter, the program that is used to create the structure of the argument. Gervas and his team invented a vocabulary appropriate to music, with different personas/roles. The story of "Beyond the Fence" is set in the 1980s, during protests in Britain against American bases.
Narrations display more categories of subgenres. Juan José Díez on the website Hispanic Electronic Literature classifies digital narrations as hypernovels, hypermedia novels, webnovels, blognovels, collective novels and wikinovels. María Goicoechea and Laura Sánchez Gómez in Cyberia incorporate other genres from a cross-media perspective: ambient, interactive film, codework, conceptual, comic, documentary, interactive fiction, hacktivism and wordtoy. Taking into account the diversity in the stories, two thematic subdivisions could be underlined: intrigue fiction and the autobiography. This autobiographical subcategory is the digital representation of identity related to the history of mentalities in which it is not only the ego that is the centre of beliefs in modern autobiography; we not only have to confront the disintegration of the ego but the annulment of human identity proscribed by the machine—a solipsism that produces schizophrenia, the fragmentation of the real ego being dissolved in virtual space.
As expected, new readers, PhD students (Calles 2011, Escandell 2012) and digital writers (Gache 2006, Chiappe 2015) have proposed critical contributions to add to those who had already begun to study the field. Gradually new digital works that arise every day on the Net are located, indexed and, after their reading and analysis, these general trends are detected.
The need to classify technical innovations involves the invention of a critical terminology that reflects a desire for thematic transgression. Ana Cuquerella (2015) proposes two general trends related to the characteristics of global literature: First, game and literature imbrication; second, ekphrasis.
Literature is impregnated with recreational aspects, sometimes as children's presentations and other times, digital work is a game with exquisite intellectual chimeras. Santiago Ortiz in Bacterias (Bacteria) (2005) and La esfera de las relaciones (The Sphere of Relations) (2007) raises a disconcerting game that involves math, art and philosophical reflection. His works, always experimental, offer the reader concepts linked without too much discursive logic, causing self-reflection. Serendipity, i.e. the accidental discovery of information through the causality of movement, governs the pursuit of something that fails to be found. The game as an end itself, as simple input and output from reality to fiction, is one of the bulwarks of digital literature (Pajares Tosca 2007). Caperucitas de color granate (Maroon-Coloured Riding Hood) by Marla Jacarilla (2006) asserts the new role of women in cyber society through the remediation of five fairy tales: Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Cinderella. The most interesting aspect of this project is the video installation: a handmade dollhouse that contains a 7" TFT monitor from which phrases like this come out: “identity is provisional, always precarious, dependent and constantly faced with an unstable relationship of unconscious forces, changing social and personal meanings and historical contingencies” (Weeks 1993). Taking these ideas as input, Marla Jacarilla transcends the discourse of folktales and changes the young, beautiful and well-behaved female characters into digital artists conscious that the game of creation brings with it a perverse ritual, in order to reach the women’s own voice within historical discourse. The heroines of these mythical fairy tales are represented by cyber-cut-out dolls who question the inherited images of the female body.
Throughout these twenty years of digital literature in Spain, there has been a progression from hypertext to multimedia. The triumph of intermediality is due to the evolution of technical means and the development of virtual memory. Literary texts increasingly rely on static or dynamic images. Not only does image decorate the text, now it illustrates it, enriches it. The reader reads text and image together at a single glance. Ekphrasis is not based on mimesis, but a phenomenon of intertextual synesthesia that evokes the activation of several senses at the same time. In Islario (2001) Laura Barrón crosses sounds and lines with images, turning the work into a poem, captured by several senses at the same time. Hotel Minotauro (Minotaur Hotel) (2015) by Doménico Chiappe is an interactive multimedia construction which criticizes violence against women and the abuse of power.
Thanks to multimedia innovation, topics like love, violence, metaliterature or memory are transgressed by a sharp metatechnological reflection that, in some cases, obliges the reader to reflect on a new conception of time (constriction / freedom), space (cloister /agora) or materiality (solipsism / communication and apocalypse/ utopia).
Digital Time is a crucial factor in any literary work. Quite a few examples of digital literature show the anguish of the human being controlled by time or, on the contrary, it could be felt by the reader that she controls time and this fact causes euphoria in her. This is the case of La hermandad de los escribanos (The Scribes’ Brotherhood) (2005) in which Félix Remírez proposes a challenge to the reader, who is now the main character in the plot and is led by the machine to play an interactive game; otherwise, the computer can immediately be reformatted. It is the same mechanism that is used in videogames: the time that the player has to meet the objectives is strictly controlled (Sanchez Coterón 1012). After playing, the reader will feel euphoria or distress, depending on her achievement of its objectives. In Una contemporánea historia de Caldesa (2007) (A Contemporary History of Caldesa) Félix Remírez imposes even more anguish on the reader, who inexorably has to continue playing and is constantly doomed to make decisions. Santiago Eximeno in Hazlo (2011) (Do It) obliges the reader to take a stance, a side, to act if a solution to the story is to be found.
Virtual space is constantly possessed by the dynamic between the private and the public environment. Nada tiene sentido (Nothing Makes Sense) by Isabel Ara and Iñaki Lorenzo consists of a digital diary in which a narrator describes his desperation at being unable to leave his own room; all he can do is write on his computer about how he feels. His work was composed using new digital discursive genres in which the narrator copies and pastes text into his virtual diary. The plot is simple: the narrator wants to communicate with others in order to be saved from his loneliness, but does not manage to do so. Suddenly one anonymous internaut contacts a psychiatrist, who turns out to be the same psychiatrist that is already treating the narrator. The psychiatrist warns the internaut that the person they are communicating with by e-mail is a schizophrenic suffering from symptoms such as hallucinations, delirium, disorganized thinking and strange behavior. The readers’ suspicions are confirmed – the text gradually loses coherence and cohesion; that is, logical word order. The background and the foreground converge into schizophrenia, into the madness of the digital narrator. The agora, as a public space in which to play, is very well represented in the work Pueblo desnudo (Naked Town) (2007) by Carola Di Nardo. The reader has to reconstruct the story of a naked man who appears in a square in a lost village. The author sees the agora as a metaphor of the broad but naked digital relations.
The digital intimacy exposed to the public represented by Pueblo desnudo (Naked Town) is called “extimacy” (Sibilia 2009: 303). This motion between solipsism and communication, between the private and the public appears in Un relato de amor/desamor (2001) (A Tale of Love/Heartbreak) by Ainara Echaniz, a story about love and the absence of love between adolescents, in which the reader selects the texts according to two versions: happy times and unhappy times. Part of the story is made up of the love poems of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, around which the theme of this narrative revolves. Navega en privado (Browse Privately) by Susana Heredia and Cristina Seraldi (2002) combines chats, emails, and links to construct a work in which Cloe allows readers to go into her private life. In the chat we witness a conversation between Cloe and her psychologist: he advises her to get out and not to be enclosed in her computer.
The thematic tension between utopia and apocalypse, already advocated by Katherine Hayles (2002), presents the dualism of the human being: on the one hand, deified by the intellectual impulse of the computer and, on the other hand, overshadowed by the apocalyptic fall in an increasingly selfish and violent society. Isaías Herrero in 5000 palabras (5000 Words) (2011) questioned a chaotic society governed by automata and fanatics. He portrays a strange world, as well as fascinating, in which the reader feels helpless and is moved. This apocalyptic vision is shared by Isabel Aranda in La mano del hombre (Mankind’s Hand) (2007). Two aspects stand out in digital cyber-feminist literature: the hybridization of the body (Dawn, 2002) and the new techno-textual identity (Escaja 2000). Both rituals are becoming present through a progressive range of nuances. In Mi cuerpo (My body) Miriam Reyes exposes her naked body, foreshortened, moving with difficulty within a refrigerator. The voice of the poet recites a poem that questions the female body abandoned in a rented room, febrile, alone on a mattress, eaten by worms. And at the end she says: “dead or alive / my body / couldn't find any difference.” It is a posthuman representation of the broken-down female body in a refrigerator as a metaphor for female identity cloistered in the machine. Refrigerators or computers are the masks of her naked identity.
A further step in this ordeal is the 'linking' of two concepts that are in themselves already separately 'in conflict': digital literature as global literature and literary nationalism (Tabbi 2010). A dialogic game exists in digital literature in Spain between global standards and cultural differences (Llamas 2014). Some works use the remediation of well-known references or canonical authors to catch the reader’s attention. Thus, El códex del peregrino (The Pilgrim’s Codex) (2012) by collective authors, narrates the story of Norberto, a young man who has lost his memory and is alone and wounded. Throughout the narrative game the reader will discover traditions and poems related to the Way of Saint James. Phrases from Don Quixote and from BBC journalism texts interact randomly in Migraciones (Migrations) (2005) by Leonardo Soolas. And the rewriting of a universal classic arises in Escribe tu propio Quijote, (Write your Own Quixote) (1996-2006). Belén Gache encourages the readers’ imagination by challenging them to rewrite the opening of Don Quixote de la Mancha, but the reader cannot escape from the classical beginning. Luis de Góngora is another of the canonical authors elected for the remediation of his works. Belén Gache plays with and challenges the reader in Góngora WordToys (2011) and María Mencia transcends the national and historical character of the Góngora lines in Transient Self-Portrait. In her work, María Mencia recreates the sonnet in a postmodern key and offers a reflection on the ephemerality of life, consummation, transient entities and fragility. She creates a fragile piece which needs light and caressing in order to exist.
Many digital works written by Spaniards play with the desire to overcome linguistic borders and are translated into English, French or the other official languages of the Spanish territory. On Translation: The Internet Project (1995- 1997) by Antoni Muntadas represents the overcoming of languages through a set of messages that are sent from one country to another at the same time that they are translated from one language to another, with the consequent alteration of their meaning. Antoni Muntadas reflects on the interpretation and manipulation of texts that come and go from one to another, from one culture to a different one.
The idea of nation as narration has been present in the background since the first stages of literature (Anderson 1983, Bhabha 1990 and 1994). Since the advent of the new digital rhizomatic narrativity, however, there has been a dissemination of complex dialogues, of relationships that move like a shuttle back and forth across the loom, from the universal to the particular and vice-versa, from prose to poetry and vice-versa, from letters to images and vice-versa, and from Spanish to English and vice-versa, creating a network of international, intercultural and transliterary links that give rise to the hyper-nation, which is always on the move, always in universal chaos and with its own particular order.
To conclude, digital literature in Spain is a creative field that, from its birth until today, has evolved with the times. The great challenge for the future for both creators and critical specialists is also spreading the work beyond academic circles and promoting it as an alternative to reading and writing for the general public and to education in particular (Hayles 2008). Jorge Luis Borges gives a clue when he writes in his famous short story “The Garden of Forking Paths” that unlike Newton and Schopenhauer, his ancestor did not believe in a universal and absolute time. He believed in the infinite series of times, in a fast-paced and growing network of divergent, convergent and parallel times. In a digital work all possible outcomes could occur; each one is the point of departure for other forkings –as Jorge Luis Borges predicted. We believe that it is precisely this quantum conception of time that the digital format allows, which leads literature to a general environment in which global principles coexist with local topics.
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- This essay draws on funding from the BBVA Foundation Research Grant about “Modelo unificado de Gestión de Colecciones Digitales con Estructuras Reconfigurables: Aplicación a la Creación de Bibliotecas Digitales Especializadas para Investigación y Docencia” (HUM14-251, 2015-2016).
- Published as a series in the pages of the magazine Madrid Cómico (Comic Madrid) in 1886.
- Ramón J. Sender first published Suma y sigue o el cuento de nunca acabar (Add and Continue or the Never-Ending Story), in the magazine Línea between 1935 and 1936. During 1953 he published Historia de un día en la vida española (History of a Day in the Life of Spain) in the magazine Tensor, numbers 5 and 6.). In 1944, another noteworthy project was Nueve millones (Nine Millions), a collective novel which arose from a radio programme, published by Afrodisio Aguado.
- See La rebelión de los delfines (The Rebellion of the Dolphins), (2001) or La muerte atravesó el paraninfo (Death Crossed the Auditorium) at http://www.elmundo.es/especiales/2003/11/cultura/novela/.
- The precedent to this rupture of linearity is often attributed to several stories by Borges, such as “The Book of Sand”, “The Garden of Forking Paths” and “The Library of Babel.” Of course Julio Cortázar’s Rayuela (Hopscotch) (1963) is also often cited as inviting readers to find their own reading, their own route through the text.
- Another example is Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novel La piel del tambor (1995) (The Drum Skin), which involves the theme of multimedia literature although not as a narrative technique. A CD is included in the novel by Laura Esquivel, La ley del amor (The Law of Love) (1996), in which illustrated parts and fragments that must be listened to as music are interwoven. Luis Goytisolo’s Mzungo (1996) is also presented in CD-ROM format, including several games directly related to the development of the novel. Doubtless, as the advertising for these works is intended to exploit, the world of new technologies as part of the plot is a safe bet for selling to young readers.
- See http://mccd.udc.es/unmardehistorias/. Accessed February 2016.
- See http://mccd.udc.es/orihuela/hyperfiction/. Accessed February 2016.
- See http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/hipertul/. Accessed February 2016.
- See http://www.hermeneia.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1953&Itemid=314. Accessed February 2016.
- See http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/bib/portal/literaturaelectronica/. Accessed February 2016.
- Cyberia: Digital Library is a repository for Spanish digital literature funded by a National Research Project (“Escritorios Electrónicos para las Literaturas-2.” Reference FFI2012-34666). The Cyberia database is structured according to the international Metadata Element Set proposed by the Consortium on Electonic Literature (CELL: http://cellproject.net/members).
- See http://clavy.fdi.ucm.es/Clavy/. Accessed February 2016.
- Clavy and @Note are computational tools developed by the software language research group ILSA at the Complutense University in Madrid. Cyberia started to work with the platform OdA, but changed to Clavy because this tool facilitates the import, export and edition of records in multiple formats such as MARC21 as well as their integration into any digital library. Mnemosyne is another digital library for rare and forgotten digital texts that uses Clavy to import metadata from HathiTrust and Biblioteca Digital Hispánica. The outcome was foreseeable: in some cases, Mnemosyne’s data model did not require the degree of detail furnished by MARC21, while in other cases it was necessary to incorporate new information absent from that format. As with XML, RDF language allows Cyberia or Mnemosyne to use whatever vocabulary is deemed desirable or necessary. In this sense, one could develop the data model for Cyberia or Mnemosyne and its digital collections from scratch, defining the necessary elements (in RDF language, “classes”) and the relationships (“properties”) between them. In other words, it is possible to create a unique, singular ontology. Nevertheless, it is far more preferable to reuse existing vocabularies as much as possible and to define new elements on a selective basis. This is because the use of normalized, well-known vocabularies increases the chances that other systems will “understand” the Cyberia or Mnemosyne data models or ontology. Some preexisting vocabularies that are useful for the definition of the Cyberia or Mnemosyne ontologies are OWL (Web Ontology Language), FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records), FOAF (Friend of a Friend), and Dublin Core. In addition to saving time, using preexisting vocabularies makes it easier to recycle information from the Cyberia or Mnemosyne databases.
- See http://lorealenelespejo.blogspot.com.es/2007/12/me-gusta-que-te-encuentres-en-el-verso.html. Accessed February 2016.
- See Ana María Uribe: Tipoemas, Anipoemas, Deseo/Desejo/Desire, El circo/The Circus; and Paulo Carvajal (Programa 11).
- See Hugo Cuevas-Mohr: El agua que sacie tu sed (The Water That Quenches Your Thirst) or El violín que espera tu regreso (The Violin Awaits yYur Return).
- See Isaías Herrero Florensa en http://www.elevenkosmos.net.
- See Ainize Txopitea: TV and Tetra by Daniel Ruiz.
- See Pedro Valdemorillos: Caosflor and Tina Escaja: Velocity.
- This is the terminology used by Ana Cuquerella (2011) for those poems recited by the poet with the support of electronic and visual media. See Óscar Martín Centeno: Somos (We are).
- See Pablo Gervás: Wishful Automatic Spanish Poet). WASPo.
- The group Yoctobit staged their work Mata a la Reina (Kill the Queen) in 2014 under the category of “playable theatre.”
- See Como el cielo los ojos (As the Sky the Eyes) by Edith Checa and Sinferidad by Benjamín Escalonilla.
- See Doménico Chiappe: Tierra de extracción (Land of Extraction); Wordtoys by Belén Gache; Heartbeat by Dora García; Trincheras de Mequinenza (Mequinenza Trenches) by Félix Remírez; Los estilitas de la sociedad tecnológica (The Technological Society Stylites) by Antonio Rodríguez de las Heras and Asesinos y asesinados (Murderers and Those Murdered) by Benjamín Escalonilla.
- See Juan José Díez: Don Juan en la frontera del espíritu (Don Juan on the Edge of the Spirit).
- See El diario del niño burbuja (Diary of a Bubble Boy) by Belén Gache.
- See La huella del cosmos (The Mark of the Cosmos) and Milagros sueltos (Loose Miracles).
- See Madrid escribe (Madrid Writes), El regreso de Cecilio (The Return of Cecilio) and Vidas prodigiosas (Dangerous Lives).
- See Our Dreams are a Second Life by Belén Gache.
- Mindstorming by Miguel Ángel Campos.
- IP Poetry by Gustavo Romano; Árboles de texto or Karrutu by Santiago Ortiz and Migraciones by Leonardo Soolas.
- See Santiago Ortiz Bacterias and Zona Inestable by Jacinto Martín.
- See Sergio Morán and Alicia Guemes: El vosque (sic) and Tiempo de héroes (Heroes’ Time) by Daniel Estorach.
- See Dora García: The Tunnel People and La mano del hombre (Mankind's Hand) by Isabel Aranda.
- See El códex del peregrino (The Pilgrim’s Codex) by VVAA; Hazlo (Do It) by Santiago Eximeno; Un relato de amor/desamor (A story of Love / Heartbreak) by Ainara Echaniz Olaizola and Hotel Minotauro by Doménico Chiappe.
- See elmundo.es de Ricardo Iglesias.
- WordToys by Belén Gache are Escribe tu propio Quijote (Write your Own Quixote), El idioma de los pájaros (The Language of Birds) and Góngora WordToys. See also Anipoemas by Ana María Uribe and Tetra by Daniel Ruiz, Karratu by Santiago Ortiz.
- The hyperstory Puntos de vista by Libe Otegui and Andrés Salaberri is worthy of mention, about some fringe characters who frequent a bar in “Puesamonyola” Street. Pello Gutiérrez Peñalba's text ¿Quién es Luis Durán? belongs to the crime category and offers us two ways of reading the story, one linear and the other interactive. A search is being carried out for a missing man by an inspector and the man's ex-wife who does not trust the inspector.
- An example of this is the text by Isabel Ara and Iñaki Lorenzo, Nada tiene sentido, which was conceived as the digital diary of a narrator who is desperate because he cannot leave his room; the only thing he can do is write how he feels on his computer screen. The text is highly original and the plot progresses until we realize that we are reading the reflections of a schizophrenic who ends up completely losing the logical order of words and who literally goes mad. Moreover, if we go a bit further, we may well think that the madman in front of the machine is our own ego.
- In Las casas perdidas (The Lost Houses) (2012) Serrat, Alegret and Obon invite the reader to interact and play on-screen with rooms that hide secrets as if it was a children’s game.
- See http://www.marlajacarilla.es/#
- Laura Sánchez defends the computer as a performative machine (2014).
- In The Tunnel People (2000) by Dora García, the mysterious inhabitants of a fictional journey walk through the closed space of the Brussels underground.
- See http://www.unav.es/digilab/proyectosenl/2002/navega_en_privado/
- See http://www.miriamreyes.com/micuerpo.html.
- Digital literature in the Catalan, Galician and Basque languages requires specific research.
Direct link: https://doi.org/10.20415/hyp/016.e03