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Explorations of Ergodic Literature
The Interlaced Poetics of Representation and Simulation

by Shuen-shing Lee
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The transformation of interface from a merely indicative tool of navigation to a suggestive element infused with metaphorical power in text-based hypertext literature, and the incorporation of hypermedia and modes of play and games into the hypertext scenario--both strains are gradually winning attention in electronic writing. Topics such as the clarification of paidia (play) and ludus (game) constituents, their formal impact on literature, and the comprehension of the aesthetic matrices projected by the symbiotic infusion of literature, play and games, have been posited, creating a new node in the network of literary studies. In order to explore these fertile new fields, this paper first assigns itself to a survey of interface design and a formal observation of play and games in samples of electronic literature. Furthermore, the paper is focused on the interlaced poetics of representation (narrative) and simulation (paidia / ludus) in literary hypertext, play and games (together to be occasionally called, cybertext or ergodic literature, both terms taken from Espen P. Aarseth). It is hoped that the paper can bring more poetical recognition to digital textualities.


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