115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Digital Spanish Literature: From Wordgames & Virtual Realities to Online Communities 

Parissa Tadrissi, Sonoma State University

This paper discusses the ways in which Remedios Zafra and Belén Gache facilitate the transformation of today’s reader and redefine traditional notions of art and literature—blurring the lines between reader/writer, artist/user, reality/fiction. They break with existing paradigms and question the limits of gender and the body by creating interactive visual and literary works.

Proposal: 

This paper discusses the ways in which two Spanish authors employ information and communication technologies in order to facilitate the transformation of the reader and redefine traditional notions of art and literature, often blurring the lines between reader/writer, artist/user, reality/fiction. Remedios Zafra and Belén Gache break literary and artistic paradigms and question the limits of gender and the body by creating interactive visual and literary works that raise consciousness around our shared experiences as readers and cultural consumers. These authors focus on fragmenting lineality, favoring virtual and polyphonic universes, in order to raise consciousness about unequal social relations and our roles as readers/users through intersectional and performative approaches. Technologies of information and communication allow us to redefine each encounter with their texts as a new, interactive and communicative possibility, in a constant exercise of conceptual re-elaboration. For example, in Belen Gache’s digital poetry and Remedios Zafra’s collaborative e-books and online literary projects such as “X0y1: plataforma para la investigación y la práctica artística sobre identidady cultura de redes” we find a confluence of reading and gaming. We are active participants who are lead through an artistic and literary maze based on our choices. Humans are homo narrans and homo ludens, we appreciate fiction and game-play and our means to fantasize and play have become extensive. Via information and communication technologies we visualize fantasy worlds, experience adventures and participate in stories like never before. According to Janet Murray, the future of narrative in cyberspace will be the holodeck, we will no longer be reading a story from a monitor, or playing a game by gazing at a screen, we will be placed in the action. Reading a novel or experiencing art will become a 3D holographic experience. I argue that these authors set us on this new path of literary and artistic experience while deconstructing notions of author(ity), presentation and representation.