Mallarmé's Self-replicating Machine: A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance

  • Karen ann Donnachie independent
  • Andy Simionato RMIT University


This paper explores the artistic legacy of Stéphane Mallarmé’s 1897 poem “Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolirà le Hasard” through a selection of derivative works, in order to demonstrate how the poem can be interpreted in digital environments as a self-replicating machine, programmatically facilitating the ongoing production of potentially countless ulterior works, including our own internet recasting called Through a detailed discussion of this work, we will attempt to draw a lineage between Mallarmé’s original poem/book of 1897 and Google, incorporated a century later, in 1997. In conclusion, we will speculate on the potential that our interpretation of Mallarmé’s work may provide a form of poetry for non-human readers, which we interpret as a metaphysical search for meaning by the kinds of Artificial Intelligence programs currently in development by corporations such as Google.


electronic literature, generative poetry, remediation, Google

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How to Cite
DONNACHIE, Karen ann; SIMIONATO, Andy. Mallarmé's Self-replicating Machine: A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance. MATLIT: Materialities of Literature, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 37-49, aug. 2018. ISSN 2182-8830. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 may 2019.
Secção Temática | Thematic Section

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