Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I gots some politico-aesthetic coding to do

Someone has written an actual academic paper on The War between n+1 and The Elegant Variation (via @drmabuse who can "summarize the whole incident in one tweet").

The litbloggers’ practice of linking also emphasizes the intertextuality of their form. In literary theory, intertextuality “denotes ways in which works of art – especially of literature – are produced in response not to social reality but to previous works of art and the codes and other conventions governing them” (Sebeok 1985: 657). Intertextuality is not confined to art but is also evident “across writing genres and related to more epistemologically explicit issues” such as global politics (Shapiro 1989:11). Rather than creating a new class of literary work or genre, litbloggers engage in a process of intertextuality that responds to previous aesthetic codes but also political codes that are embedded in our literary political economy. In this sense, rather than producing a new, alternative book culture, litbloggers instead may be solidifying the dominant codes and conventions that are already in place. Litbloggers may, and some do, avoid being accomplices to the reification of dominant discourses by not only providing links but also challenging the source of the links. This is where their power of critique lies and perhaps where they may exercise more freedom than print media whose codes and conventions have concretized since the development of print over fifteen hundred years ago.