This minimalist poem from the early days of the Web has received abundant critical attention over the years, and was recently included in an important Electronic Literature Exhibition at the MLA 2012 Convention. Part of the reason for the longevity of this work is how it presents the reader with layers of textual behavior that she can activate and play with as it unfolds. Starting with the word “meaning” and a few textually described tools for the reader, this “philosophical poetry toy” (check out the source code) encourages play with the letters of the word, leading to the question of what is the meaning of language under the conditions Andrews has created for it? Is it an enigma?
For a detailed close reading of “Enigma n” read the section titled “A Meaningful Enigma” in my dissertation, pgs. 164-172.