Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Smooth and the Striated on the Web: Re-writing Fiction à la Carte

Dr. Apostolos Lampropoulos.


This paper discusses new possibilities of literary/artistic production offered by the World Wide Web, along with the basic concept of spatiality. On the one hand, my discussion involves websites such as Fanfiction.net, which provide access to several kinds of texts (literary texts, movies, sitcoms, etc.): surfers can modify or even replace specific passages of these texts, aspects of the plot or characters, in a way that better suites their demand. On the other hand, the questions I will address are part of the overall ‘spatial’ conception of textuality in the postmodern paradigm; I am particularly interested in exploring ways in which the cyber-phenomenon mentioned above can be constructed through a topological discourse. Apart from the, mainly Deleuzian, reflexion on spatiality, my basic theoretical references will be M.-L. Ryan’s Narrative As Virtual Reality, J. McGann’s Radiant Textuality, S. Gaggi’s From Text to Hypertext, as well as P. Lunenfeld’s The Digital Dialectic and M.-L. Ryan’s Cyberspace Textuality.

The spaces of literature globalized. If the Web itself is widely considered as the celebration of globalization, re-writing fiction on the Web can equally be seen as an activity of de- and re-historicization or even of de- and re-particularization of the text. In the context of cyberspace, texts almost pretend to no longer belong to specific eras, genres or national literatures, and to be seen and appreciated according to their ‘writability’ instead. In that sense, texts are moving from an ethno- and chrono-centric mode of being towards a constant reterritorialization consistent with the fluidity of the framework of the Web.

The cyberspace as critical cartography. The cyberspace is often seen as the ‘realization’ of numerous theoretical utopias, such as the unfinished or the writerly text, unlimited intertextuality, the end of authorship and so on. Given the relative instability and the porousness of the texts on the Web, every corpus is thinkable as interchangeably smooth and striated. This kind of multiplicity peculiar to cyberculture is then of special interest in view of the writing-sites examined here. Instead of the void and often non-applicable categories proposed by theory, or precisely after them, these sites put the critical practices imagined by theory on the cybermap. In this light, the co-presence of these alternative techniques of text-production may lead us to consider the very discourse on cybertextualities as a kind of critical Panopticon.

Presenters

Dr. Apostolos Lampropoulos  (Cyprus)
Lecturer in Literary Theory
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures Program in French Studies
University of Cyprus

I was born in Athens in 1972. I studied Linguistics and Literature at the U. of Athens (1990-1994) and Literary Theory at the U. Paris III (D.E.A. 1996, Doctorat 2000). I have taught Modern Greek Literature at the U. Paris X (1997) and at the U. of Patras (2002). I currently teach Literary Theory at the U. of Cyprus (2002-). I have received graduate fellowships from the A. S. Onassis and the A.G. Leventis Foundations, a post-doctoral fellowship from the Hellenic Fellowships Foundation (2002-2003) and grants from the U. of Urbino (1998) and Cornell U. (1999, 2003). I have published a monograph entitled Le Pari de la description : l’effet d’une figure déjà lue (Harmattan, 2002), several articles, and the translation in Greek of A. Compagnon’s Le Démon de la théorie: littérature et sens commun.

Keywords
  • Literary Theory
  • Cybercriticism
  • Spatial Criticism



(30 min. Conference Paper, English)