A Note on Language
Entries for the Electronic Literature Directory are written exclusively in English - not to limit our linguistic range but to facilitate the inclusive gathering of works from around the globe. The editors of the ELD are working, country by country, to bring in original e-lit works in languages native to ourselves and to each partner in the Consortium for Electronic Literature (CEL). We do not impose a standardized English, nor do we expect a refined literary style or curatorial manner among entry writers. Our goal is simply to bring as much good work to the attention of as broad (and active) an audience as possible. English at the moment of the Directory's launch (01.01.10) is the most widely used instrument for this task.
This is not to impose one language or insist on its cultural superiority. As literary critic Frederic Jameson notes, "for most people in the world English is not exactly a cultural language: it is the lingua franca of money and power, which you have to learn for practical but scarcely for aesthetic purposes." (Valences of the Dialectic. New York: Verso, 2009: page 436)
Our purposes here are aesthetic, and that expectation extends to the entries as much as to the referenced work. The editors anticipate receiving entries written at various levels of competence in English, in a variety of accents. We may catch misspellings and copy errors, and we might email contributors with requests for elaboration or clarification. But we won't correct usage or be sticklers for grammar. Because ELD entries are part of a literary gift economy (not exclusively the language of "money and power"), we hope to foster the renewal of English as a literary language, even as our contributors encounter aesthetic diversity in works of many languages.