Digital literature is based on tensions between the story content and the medium through which it's authored and accessed. The word tension does not necessarily mean conflict. Instead, it's a creative tension between the story and how the reader "plays" or interacts with the story. This essay focuses on one example that is a borderline case in order to identify some of the tensions which underlie and fertilize digital literature:
--Tension on the media: between digital literature and digitized literature, but also between contextual installation or performance and transmissible or online available object;
--Tension on the semiotic forms: between the technical potentialities of the Digital and the semiotic properties (inertia proper to each form, linguistic text, image, sound or video);
--Tension on the programmed writing: between a form of closure with the program and the opening to meaning;
--Tension on the aesthetic experience: between the revealing of meaning and the physical action which is necessary to elicit this revelation.
All of these tensions do not necessarily originate with digital literature; there is a long tradition of paper-based experimental literature. It is on the basis of these creative tensions that digital literature can build its identity and consider new bridges to paper-based creative writing.
"Towards a tension-based definition of Digital Literature,"
Journal of Creative Writing Studies: Vol. 2
, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.rit.edu/jcws/vol2/iss1/6