Journal article Open Access

Electronic Literature in Ireland

O'Sullivan, James

Literary Ireland has long embraced experimentation. So, in an artistic community that typically gravitates towards the new, it is culturally anomalous to see that electronic literature has failed to flourish. Ireland, sitting at the nexus between the North American and European e-lit communities, should be playing a more active role in what is becoming an increasingly significant literary movement. This article provides a much needed account of the field of electronic literature as it exists at present within an Irish context, simultaneously exploring those circumstances which have contributed to its successes and failures. Doing so rectifies a major gap in the national media archaeologies of this field, presenting an incomplete yet untold culturally specific literary history. While a complete literary history of Ireland’s e-lit community cannot be accomplished within the constraints of this single essay—there will inevitably be limitations in scope, practitioners I have failed to acknowledge, writings I have missed in my review—what can be achieved here is the beginning of a discourse which will hopefully flourish in years to come.

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