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Christine Wilks’ Women, Politics and Poetics

Oreto Doménech


In this paper we present a close reading of the electronic literature works Sitting Pretty (2004), IntraVenus (2005), Fitting the Pattern (2008) and Underbelly (2010) by Christine Wilks with the aim of reflecting on how the body of the “Woman” is represented in these works, through which mechanisms the gender is constructed in them and how these bodies of women are registered in a feminine and feminist genealogy. There is, without a doubt, in Wilks’s work a unitary discursive thread about gender identity that evolves and transforms as the narrative mechanisms of the author and, consequently, our reading process, change; the power of the word over the body in Sitting Pretty and the strength of the naked body in IntraVenus are the initial drawing of a particular and personal discourse about the genre that will become more complex and profound in Fitting the Pattern and Underbelly. In Fitting the Pattern we have to cut, sew and weave to know the thoughts of the daughter, the addressee of the pattern that is made. Reading, as an act of creative craftsmanship, coupled with the memory of women who rework, stitch after stitch, maternal relationships, in a textual fabric that makes the identity of a young woman and the memory of a long female genealogy. Genealogy which, on the other hand, is omnipresent in Underbelly, an immersive reading experience that introduces mining women in the 19th century England along with the thoughts of a sculptress about her process as an artist who is wondering about the possibility of being a mother. The texts that narrate Sitting Pretty, IntraVenus, Fitting the Pattern and Underbelly appear in the most diverse and heterogeneous forms, however the images in these works are representations of the body of the woman from different points of view: the physical body, the body of desire, the body covered, the inner body. These works, in addition, due to their specific and special characteristics, experience a process of poetization with peculiar rhetorical mechanisms that are configured in digital poetic narratives: orality, metaphors, alliterations, metonimies, rhythm, analogies, polysemy … Reading these four works is an interactive experience of the body, an intellectual dialogue about the meaning of the word and power, the body and the image, reading and memory, women and the creation through times and spaces and practicing, with reading, the exercise of a poetic and political view.


electronic literature; poetics; politics; women’s bodies

Full Text:



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Wilks, Christine. 2004. Sitting Pretty. Last access January 30, 2016. http://crissxross.net/MovingPix/BeforeWeBegin/index.html

Wilks, Christine. 2005. IntraVenus. Last access January 30, 2016. http://crissxross.net/MovingPix/IntraVenus.html

Wilks, Christine. 2008. Fitting the Pattern. Last access January 30, 2016. http://crissxross.net/elit/fitting_the_pattern.html

Wilks, Christine. 2010. Underbelly. Last access January 30, 2016. http://crissxross.net/elit/underbelly.html

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2016-003-dome

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.

Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)

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