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The heart of the Electronic Literature Organization's Website, this Website presents a "comprehensive directory of work" in the field of electronic literature. Electronic literature is here defined as any literature with an electronic element available on the Internet and thus includes both experimental Internet novels and animated poems as well as audio versions of traditional works that have been made available on the Web, such as the postings of authors reading their own works available at sites like the Atlantic Monthly's Poetry Pages. The directory's virtues include size -- there are over 400 links for poetry alone; thoroughness of annotations; and ease of access -- the directory allows users to search and browse by author, traditional genre, type of electronic media (hypertext, recording, animated text, online generated text, and other multimedia), and keyword. In addition, the creators have struck a balance between the democratic impulse of the Internet and the desire for aesthetic quality, allowing individuals to register to have their works appear in the directory but requiring submission of their work to an editorial review by the Directory's board before posting. With individuals like the postmodern novelist Robert Coover and Larry Wangberg, CEO of ZDTV, behind it, this Website promises to give electronic literature a new level of visibility and credibility. A good thing, even if Coover's prediction that "the vast majority of the human race will simply do without literature" if they cannot find it on the Web does strike us as a premature epitaph on that four-centuries-old technology: the printed word.
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