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Writing Theories

Hayles (19) argues that ˘it is a historical construction to believe that computer media are disembodying technologies, not an obvious truth.÷ This analysis will review the work of Hayles and Ong to demonstrate that electronic technologies do not equate to a disembodying technology but, rather, they represent technologies that enrich the interaction between reader and material/information technologies. A conclusion will address the future of electronic literature and its impact on the reader.

The notion that electronic technologies remove the human or material interaction from the literary process is more often a misguided cultural perception rather than a fact. Despite critics of virtual literature arguing that such forms of verbal transmission are ˘rotting minds÷ of youth, Hayles (1) maintains that virtuality is comparable to nature in its form, function and engagement of human beings but it is not actual nature: ˘Whatever ŠnatureĂ may be, it is a holistic interactive environment, not a reenactment of the constructed bifurcations that humans impose in order to understand it better.÷

Virtual literature or virtuality is the outcome of the development of electronic technologies like personal computers and the World Wide Web (WWW). The transmission of words evolved from purely oral transfer to the written word. The evolution of one technol


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