John Vincler recently posted an excellent entry on Raymond Queneua's 100,000,000,000,000 Poems on the Electronic Literature Directory. We have asked Vincler, a rare manuscript librarian, to write a small selection of special entries which are relevant to the Directory, but which fall outside of the Directory's official mandate (to catalog and describe works of electronic literature).
As the Directory grows, I will continue posting snippets and links here. We, the folks who write for the Directory, regularly read Netpoetic for works to add to the ELD. The next step, I suppose, is to try to bring more readers, writers, and artists from Netpoetic to the ELD. As a peer-powered endeavor, such relationships are crucial to building a resource that is truly representative of “Electronic Literature” in general. So, swing by and read John Vincler's entry. Browse around if you haven't already.
If you like what we do, consider writing an entry for us on a work you'd like to see included (I am very interested in seeing, for instance, some entries that deal competently with “codework”). At the very least, share works and ideas from the far-flung corners of your webby wanderings (I am very interested, for instance, in electronic literature beyond of Europe and North America). We are still in the process of consolidating entries from other sources and preparing for a formal launch, so it is very important to communicate with us about getting involved (I am also very interes
ted, for instance, in making sure that we have well-developed entries for the trailblazers). Other types of feedback are also welcome. And, I should mention, we ARE NOT looking for entries on “antecedents” to electronic literature, we are most in need of entries on recent and contemporary works of electronic literature (1980s-present).
(NOTE: If you do decide to write an entry, it's important to contact us ELDeditors[put the little "at" symbol here]eliterature.org so that we can make sure an entry isn't in progress AND make sure to read our guidelines for entries or your entry might force me into hand-wringing fits of anxiety).
Here's John Vincler:
Raymond Queneau’s work, 100,000,000,000,000 Poems, consists of a sequence of ten (10) fourteen-line sonnets. Each line within any one sonnet can replace the same in any other while maintaining a uniform rhyme scheme and grammatical correctness.
To facilitate reading across the sequence of ten poems, the poem is printed only on the recto side of the page and each page is cut into fourteen strips . This arrangement allows for individual strips to be pealed back revealing a line from the following poem underneath. By pealing the first strip back on the first page, the first line from the second sonnet replaces the first line of the first sonnet. Mathematically this enables 10^14 variations of the sonnet within the work or the Cartesian product of fourteen sets of ten elements each.
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