2020 | 44 | 2 |
Article title

"A galaxy of signifiers”: David Clark’s "88 Constellations" for Wittgenstein as a Paradigm of the Barthesian Writerly/Plural Text

Title variants
Languages of publication
This article argues that David Clark’s digital biography 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (to be played with the Left Hand) (2008) meets all the criteria of a writerly/plural text as defined by Roland Barthes in S/Z (1970). The discussion focuses on the interactive and reversible structure of Clark’s work, as well as on the plurality and hybridity of its components. The experimental form of Wittgenstein’s biography is examined as an attempt to capture the elusiveness and the contradictions of its subject.
Der Artikel enthält das Abstract auschließlich in englischer Sprache.
L'article contient uniquement le résumé en anglais.
Physical description
  • Barthes, R. (1970). S/Z. (R. Miller, Trans.). Malden: Blackwell.
  • Butler, K (n.d.). Wayfinding in Wittgenstein’s World: 88 Constellations. Brain Pickings. Retrieved January 1, 2020, from
  • Clark, D. (2008). 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (to be played with the Left Hand). Retrieved January 1, 2020, from
  • Clark, D. (2015). Pictures in the stars: 88 constellations for Wittgenstein and the online “biography”. Biography, 38(2), 290-296.
  • Cornis-Pope, M. (2014). Literature and multimedia through the latter half of the twentieth and early twenty-first century. In M. Cornis-Pope (Ed.), New Literary Hybrids in the Age of Multimedia Expression: Crossing Borders, Crossing Genres (pp. 3-23). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Hayles, N. K. (2012). 88 constellations for Wittgenstein. In Medias Res. Retrieved January 1, 2020, from
  • Hayles, N. K. (2016). Foreword. In S. Groes (Ed.), Memory in the Twenty-First Century (pp. x-xiii). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Johnston, D. J. (2016). Aesthetic Animism: Digital Poetry’s Ontological Implications. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Manovich, L. (2001). The Language of New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Montfort, N., & Husárová, Z. (2012). Shuffle literature and the hand of fate. electronic book review. Retrieved January 1, 2020, from
  • Novak, J. (2017). Experiments in life-writing: Introduction. In L. Boldrini, & J. Novak (Eds.), Experiments in Life-Writing: Intersections of Auto/Biography and Fiction (pp. 1-36). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Nye, D. E. (1983). The Invented Self: An Anti-Biography, from Documents of Thomas A. Edison. Odense: Odense University Press.
  • Olsen, L. (2005). Notes toward the musicality of creative disjunction, or: Fiction by collage. Symploke, 12(1), 130-135.
  • Pavić, M. (1984). Dictionary of the Khazars. London: Vintage.
  • Pavić, M. (1998). The beginning and the end of reading – The beginning and the end of the novel. Review of Contemporary Fiction, 18(2), 142-146.
  • Prager, K., & Hannesschläger, V. (2017). From “anti-biography” to online biography? In W. Hemecker, & E. Saunders (Eds.), Biography in Theory: Key Texts with Commentaries (pp. 256-262). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
  • Rettberg, S. (2019). Electronic Literature. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Solove, D. J. (2004). The Digital Person: Technology and Privacy in the Information Age. New York: New York University Press.
  • Spiegelman, A. (1980). The Complete Maus. New York: Pantheon.
  • Van Dijk, Y. (2014). Picking up the pieces: History and memory in European digital literature. In M. Cornis-Pope (Ed.), New Literary Hybrids in the Age of Multimedia Expression: Crossing Borders, Crossing Genres (pp. 107-122). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.