A Superfluous Man is dubious that “splintering linearity and authorship” is intelligible at all, let alone a promising future for literature.

Robert Moor’s recent n+1 magazine article “Bones of the Book”–on the history of the e-book so far and the future of “non-linear “hyperfiction” and “electronic literature”–is nevertheless worthy of note.

Traditionalists attack e-books because they are not enough like print books. The electronic literary vanguard tends to dislike e-books because they are too much like real books. Electronic writers have long defined their craft as any piece of digital writing except e-books, which they consider mere scans of paper. They have perhaps overlooked some of the e-book’s creative possibilities, but they have helped to define what e-book connotes. If an e-book mutates too far from its physical progenitor, then it becomes electronic literature.

The full article is available here.

(Naturally, A Superfluous Man stumbled across this article thanks to the indispensable Arts & Letters Daily, consistently the Anglophone world’s best website for several years running.)