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TRUTH OR FANFICTION IN THE WORLD OF ONLINE FRIENDS & THE BLOGOSPHERE HYBRID STORYSPACES CONFERENCE CORNELL UNIVERSITY, MAY 2010 The Art of Seduction.

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Presentación del tema: "TRUTH OR FANFICTION IN THE WORLD OF ONLINE FRIENDS & THE BLOGOSPHERE HYBRID STORYSPACES CONFERENCE CORNELL UNIVERSITY, MAY 2010 The Art of Seduction."— Transcripción de la presentación:

1 TRUTH OR FANFICTION IN THE WORLD OF ONLINE FRIENDS & THE BLOGOSPHERE HYBRID STORYSPACES CONFERENCE CORNELL UNIVERSITY, MAY 2010 The Art of Seduction

2 Lucía Etxebarria Contemporary (GenX) best-selling Spanish authorauthor - One of most controversial current Spanish writers an author whose outrageous promotional tactics have enchanted & bemused some, angered & alienated others, while gaining the attention of most of the Spanish reading public [Christine Henseler, Cont. Span. Womens Writing & The Publishing Industry, 2003] Emerged on scene with 1997, Amor, curiosidad, prozac y dudas Beatriz y los cuerpos celestes, 1997 – Premio Nadal Un milagro en equlibrio, 2004 – Premio Planeta Quasi- biographical texts: La historia de Kurt y Courtney (1994); Courtney y yo (2004); Una historia de amor como otra cualquiera (2003); Lo verdadero es un momento de lo falso (2010)

3 Seduction Seduction, according to Baudrillard, is a metaphor of reading, of writing, of literature. The poor reader sees literature as production, while literature is seduction. Reversible seduction. According to Eco, the reader provides the meaning of the book, not the author. (post 1/12/10 12:17 pm, translation mine) Etxebarrias FB site

4 [Auto]Biographical Construction & Uncertainty In constantly revising and recasting ourselves in order to forge connections with readers, to seduce people into reading about us and our lives, do we find ourselves still lost, no closer or more certain of who we are or what we were seeking in the first place? As readers, what is it that we hope to find on these pages, and what is it that these authors want us to find (or alternatively not to find)? To what extent do these attempts at autobiographical construction and biographical consumption mislead us into a sense of having discovered something real – a real identity or connection rather a representation? And why do we find them so satisfying?

5 Biographical Uncertainty Seduction SpeculationSimulation

6 Simulated Biography While all biographies simulations, design characterized by awareness of Simultaneity Intervention of multiple influences & participants in making of that reality Necessity for adaptive response Construction of biographical identity as perpetually uncertain (and constantly adapting) multi-player game Multiple and often competing players, including biographical subject, trying to manipulate the biographical outcome – each with own stake in how the story is revealed

7 The game theory model Paradigm explains behavior in terms of strategy; indicates true source of uncertainty is based in intentions of others Focuses on biographical construction as dynamic interaction in which representations of identity simultaneously shaped & contested Resonance of game theory in periods of transition, when rules of engagement (how to play) in question- change in players or field of interaction

8 Lucia Etxebarria Etxebarria both plays with this sense of identity as a perpetually uncertain multiplayer game and resists it Una historia de amor como otra cualquiera (2003) series of biographical vignettes, based in real stories: I mean based, not calculated. […] By this, I mean that if all the stories you have read are inspired in some real event, this does not mean they necessarily deal with true stories, but literary interpretations of reality. (283) But I have not been talking about individuals. What I have been talking about is icons, representations, myths. And it is for this reason that intentionally I have put forth a game and have made you arrive here at the hand of a character who in her day wore Zara pants and a t-shirt that said Psycho-bitch (Etxebarria referring to herself in Courtney y yo (2004) 241.

9 Biography & Digital Games of Narrative Concepts such as game theory & interactive approach to biographical construction speak directly to voyeuristic appeal of blogs, Facebook, social networking sites – conduits for autobiographical construction & biographical consumption & revision Consider narrative strategies in digital games of identity in which players shift from purely external, exploratory observers to what Marie Laure-Ryan has referred to as internal, ontological modes of play. Relationship to strategies in these quasi-biographical texts

10 Digital Games of Narrative Modes of interactivity open different possibilities on way narrative develops or is configured (Laure-Ryan) 1 st dichotomy – External/Internal: Distance user/biographer situates self from narrative being developed - External mode: user situates self outside virtual world (like traditional biographer), without interference of other players - Internal mode: user projects self as member of fictional world, either through avatar or by first person perspective

11 Digital Games of Narrative 2nd dichotomy: Exploratory/Ontological. To what extent decisions of user/biographer affect events in the virtual world - Exploratory: User able to explore all aspects of the simulated reality, but no power to change it, alter destiny of virtual world - Ontological: Decisions of user have impact on evolving narrative and send the history of virtual world on different forking paths

12 Etxebarrias Simulated Games of Biography Against external, exploratory view of biographer who sublimates his/her presence in the narrative, Etxebarria flaunts ability to project her subjectivity into the narrative Interaction of biographical subject and others involved in constructing the story, and who try to manipulate it in turn Elements underscore shift of biographers role from external creator or operator of simulation to one knowingly embedded in the game – so that subject and biographer share & compete for control of narrative (as Etxebarrias book title Courtney y yo reiterates)

13 Seduction 1: A Story of Love Like Any Other Un-named first person narrator (appears to be Etxebarria, or least her fictional construct/avatar). One night stand with Gabriel (magical image of heart on ceiling) > virtual, long distance relationship Desire for virtual on line version overtakes ability of characters to engage with complexities & imperfections of reality Progressive loss of the real to simulated, and then further dispersion of that authority over narrative through intervention of other players – has added significance when considered in terms of her insistence that based these stories on real lives Disjunction representative of broader changes which have fundamentally accelerated communication and at the same time distance ourselves from one another & certainty over what to believe

14 Lara Croft & Simulated Identity- Are you game? Lara Croft embodies tension between player and virtual identity that Etxebarria conveys in her fictional work & (as we shall see) in her FB site. Mike Ward observes, the videogames Lara Croft – mute, unreal, and looking the other way – is a virtual contradiction, at once a sort of riot grrrl and a sort of fetish. But it is more complicated than that, since Lara is in a sense, you

15 Seduction 2:

16 Lo verdadero es un momento de lo falso Etxebarrias most recent novel, Lo verdadero es un momento de lo falso (Suma de Letras, Feb 2010) Multiplayer game played out through FB – with Etxebarria as hidden player Novel narrates death of Pumuky, leader of a band called Sex & Love Addicts. Mysteries surrounding his death, and effort to unravel the truthPumuky From the start of the novel – Para unos un cabrón, para otros un santo, para algunos un cocainámano, pero nadie se entera de la misa de la mitad¨ Dispersive games: Suggests that real open to invention of a series of individuals with own perspectives or self-interested claims on how story unfolds Etxebarrias most recent novel, Lo verdadero es un momento de lo falso (Suma de Letras, Feb 2010) Multiplayer game played out through FB – with Etxebarria as hidden player Novel narrates death of Pumuky, leader of a band called Sex & Love Addicts. Mysteries surrounding his death, and effort to unravel the truthPumuky From the start of the novel – Para unos un cabrón, para otros un santo, para algunos un cocainámano, pero nadie se entera de la misa de la mitad¨ Dispersive games: Suggests that real open to invention of a series of individuals with own perspectives or self-interested claims on how story unfolds

17 Seductive Hyperreality & Fanfiction La gente ha mentido siempre y siempre han existido realidades alternativas. Las redes sociales amplifican algo que ya está: la necesidad de mentir, de ocultar la realidad. Por ejemplo, [el personaje de] Pumuky estuvo un año en Facebook y más que 3 mil personas se lo creyeron (interview, El público.es) Use of FB to create this character who takes on existence of own beyond the screen. Etxebarría´s image mediates construction Instance in which hyperreal constructs real, as we see with music video and record company contract offers.music video

18 Más real que real: La tragedia de Pumuky La tragedia de Pumuky. Etxebarria copies on her wall 2/2/6:18 pm, from person of Romano – supposed best friend friend of Pumuky: La tragedia de Pumuky Estoy realmente sorprendido con todo lo que ha pasado, que la gente cuestiona la existencia de Pumuky. Pumuky ha sido más que real, ha sido hiperreal. Ha vivido una vida mucho más sincera que la mayoría de los usarios de Facebook, que no pueden contar nada de su vida porque tienen miedo a que su perfil lo lean la novia o su jefe ¿Que no era real? ¿Qué es real y qué no es real? Vivimos en un mundo en el que las fronteras entre realidad y ficción ya no existen. Gran parte de los perfiles de Facebook no corresponden a personas físicas con nombre inscrito en el Registro Civil y eso no les impide interactuar, relacionarse, EXISTIR, en suma¨

19 avatars & derivative identities Pumuky/Romano as alter-egos/avatars for Etxebarria: Use of these avatars as a way to try to control image and identity – but as they toy with readers, also slip away from Etxebarria as creator – ¡Pumuky existía! Yo lo creé, y luego se unieron unos cuantos amigos mios, de forma que el personaje cobró vida propia y llegó un momento en que era un ente completamente ajeno a mi persona. Habría que llamar a un psicoanalista para explicar lo que sucedió… Pero al final, el propio Pumuky ya ha pasado de ser parte de la hiperrealidad. La gente llora por él como si lo hubiera conocido, las niñas llevan camisetas con su cara impresa, le dejan flores en la tumba, pero no lo conocieron, no tenían puta idea de quien era. Porque todos los que vivimos en un grupo necesitamos una realidad común (a common myth)…

20 Speculative Fictions/Simulated Identities From Romano Debord (2/2/2010): La misma Lucía vive enfrentada a un avatar que hace y dice cosas que ella no hace ni dice: ni ha pegado a una inquilina, ni ha dejado nunca de bañar a su hija…ni ha sido sentenciado por plagio. Pero existe alguien con su nombre creado por los medios de comunicación que lleva una vida paralela a la suya. De hecho, la cosa ha llegado a tal nivel que en Facebook, Lucía ha tenido que renunciar a mi nombre original, para que no la confundan con esa señora, que se llama Lucía Etxebarria y en su perfil privado tiene otro nombre e identidad

21 Derivative Identities Derivatives as instruments to manage uncertainty – capitalize on shifting values (seduction of speculation) or try to hedge against this instability and protect against losses Like derivatives in financial sphere, derivative identities (FB constructions, blog selves, other avatars – also means to negotiate shifting identities and meanings, but which can also slip away, lose connection to underlying identity to which originally connected - as for example Etxebarria describes with respect to Pumuky/herself

22 Disappearance & Recovery Return to questions with which we began this talk Alberto Fuguet, Missing: Una investigación Responsibility we have amid the uncertainty of these seductive truths/fictions


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