Where Is the Text? The Disappearance of the Text in Electronic Poetry

Electronic poetry encompasses works very different from one another. Talking about electronic poetry as if it were just one creative form seems to be inaccurate. On the other hand the interest to be had in electronic poetry seems to reside exactly in the diversity which electronic poetry has to offer to its reader.
This paper will feature an empirical approach to electronic poetry. The aim of this paper is a two-fold goal. On the one hand it will study the “development” of electronic poetry, and our hypothesis is: the text is disappearing in e-poetry; and on the other it will compare e-poems written in different languages to see if there are differences of style in composing e-poetry.
By comparing some of the e-poems published in the Electronic Literature Collection Vol. 1 and 2 we will try to see if there have been any changes in creating electronic poetry in more than a decade (“Windsound”, by John Cayley was first published in 1999); and if yes how e-poetry has changed and is changing. The two mentioned goals are strictly connected since in the Second Volume of the Electronic Literature Collection 7 languages are represented by works, besides in English and French, in Catalan, Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish. Do different cultural backgrounds and literary traditions still affect the creation of a kind of poetry that for its medium seems to be global? And if so, how?
By using the descriptive approach systematic aspects of electronic poetry will be singled out in order to trace the changes in e-poetry. A hermeneutic and analytic work will also be done. Finally, by locating rhetorical figures, new media-figures, emerging aesthetic forms we will try to describe the new text puts forward by e-poetry.