I’m working on a v 2.0 of my rationale, but thought I’d post this second version for the sake of posterity/transparency.
I’ve opted with the 1.1, as though it dose contain some substantial changes, I don’t feel as though it is necessarily more than a small departure from the first draft. Mostly, I’ve added some explication and connections.
In the upcoming (in a few days) v 2.0, I’ll largely try to do the opposite: discretize these blended areas in order to more clearly define them. I’ll also be following up with a reorganization of my booklist, which is currently on Evernote. I’ve been reluctant to match the list to my areas, as I personally cannot not see many texts applying to more than a single area. Alas, it is time to try!
Rationale after the break… And, as always, comments welcome!
For my digital project, I created an interactive supplement to my essay on ARG player production using Inform 7, a language used for writing Interactive Fiction.
I chose to do this for a few reasons. The main reason is that I wanted to gain some experience working in Inform 7. This is a contextual programming language that looks very different from most code that I’ve previously tried to work with. As I’m interested in interactive narratives and games, I figured learning this language was beneficial to me, personally, as both a writer and academic (which is most of the time a meaningless distinction for me).
My interest in interactive narratives, however, also reveals why I chose to mediate this digital project in the way that I did. In general, I’m interested in exploring different patterns, ethics, and logics for “texts”, modes and media. By working in Inform 7, I can still work with type on a screen/page, which is both comforting and potentially subversive (I hope!). It is comforting, in that this project uses writing, just as a print (or digital copy of a print) essay does. I hope that it is subversive, as it allows the reader (or interactor) more agency in determining the shifting logics and coherences of the work, through making choices within the possibilities I have written.
You can visit the (rather generic) homepage for the project here. Clicking on “Play In-Browser” will allow you to do just that.
Well, after a bit of prodding from myself and the excitement of sharing this project with the world (and maybe a few with genuine interest!), I’ve plodded my way through the last 20 hours of hand coding to produce…
Pale Tour: a remediation of many of the narratives found in Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire “Commentary” section.
Upon reading this pseudo-hypertext for the second time, I found Kinbote’s commentary to contain many temporal cross-references between his personal narrative and those of Charles Xavier (whom I do assume to be Kinbote), John Shade, and the regicidal assassin Gradus/Jacques D’Gray. These “time-stamps” looked to be a useful way of charting the many narrative pathways of Pale Fire and, with a bit of closer reading, many spatial cross-references and overlaps can also be found.
Clicking on the above link will send you to my UW-Milwaukee web space, specifically to the home page of Pale Tour. You can navigate to Charles’s and Kinbote’s narrative tours from that link; Gradus’s tour should be coming shortly. More information is available on the Pale Tour homepage, such as source files and my method of hand coding. I encourage all to use my files under the defined Creative Commons license–and be sure to tell me what you’re working on!
I’ve got a few future wrinkles I’d like to add, such as polygon paths to show a more permanent visual record of the narrative trajectories, as well as potentially time-coding the narrative arcs in a single tour that does a better job of visualizing the relationship between narratives. Until then, enjoy!