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«At last, here is a book written by an Italian about the homeopathic but essential role that Italian artists, and among them, important writers, have played to introduce the digital transformation to Italians. Long before government or business, and least of all educators, took notice, artists, as was their wont for centuries, were the first to reveal the potential of the new technologies. Emanuela Patti not only pays them a long overdue tribute, but along the way revisits with care and engaging style the key features of that transformation. A wonderful read!» (Professor Derrick de Kerckhove, University of Toronto)

«We were missing a systematic survey of e-literary arts in Italy. Emanuela Patti has filled that void. Indeed, her study is much more than a survey: it brilliantly connects semiotic theories of open textuality to the profound techno-cultural transformations of socio-political life from the 1960s to the present, from experimental writing to popular culture.» (Professor Massimo Riva, Brown University)

In 1962, Umberto Eco published Opera aperta, setting the ground for a new wave of creative experimentation across the arts and media. The concept of «open work» informed by systems theory, cybernetics, relativism, pragmatism and other influential disciplines of the time was used by Eco to reconsider the work of art as a site for interactivity, collaboration and intermediality. Starting from this perspective, this book reconstructs the history of Italian electronic literature, looking at creative practices across literature, electronic and digital media from the early days of computers to the social media age. It examines how Italian writers, poets, literary critics and intellectuals have responded to each phase of the digital revolution, by enacting «poetics of openness» and «politics of intermediality». Case studies include Nanni Balestrini, Gianni Toti, Italo Calvino, Caterina Davinio, Wu Ming, Michela Murgia, Francesco Pecoraro, Roberto Saviano, Tommaso Pincio, Fabio Viola, Fabrizio Venerandi and Enrico Colombini. In some cases, literary experimentation with new technologies has taken a clear polemical stance towards mass media, globalisation, information society and late capitalism, in order to challenge and/or reconfigure artistic or social ontologies. In others, digital technologies have been used to enhance and extend the parameters and «languages» of literature.

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