Michael Joyce’s Twelve Blue is a type of electronic literature that uses the navigation process in response to the interaction with the navigators. Despite its unusual narrating style, Joyce’s work is an impressive innovation in the literature world that passed the limits of traditional printed works and made it reach the next level.
Navigation is a component of electronic writing that extraordinarily influences the means by which readers peruse and associate with computerized texts. Dissimilar to print writing, electronic writing does not include usual letters and marks on a print page; rather, it is made as a processual creation across codes and hardware inside the computer based on the connections of the navigators. Such navigational associations run from tapping on a hyperlink in hypertext to composing a reaction to an account brief in intuitive fiction or moving a symbol through virtual spaces in a vivid storyline (Pressman).
The experience of reading Michael Joyce’s Twelve Blue was as described by ELiterature Organization “a unique form of literature that has its effect within digital textuality unlike the usual effect of printed or written literature” (Pressman). The most remarkable feature is the dark blue background that gives the observer the required feeling of “blues”, this technological innovation of literature is ensuring what traditional literature was limited to. The author used a simple-looking HTML interface involving multiple pages to navigate combined with other elements nurturing the sensation the author created in his work which is considered quite ambitious for his generation. The general observer might stay for a while discovering all the navigation options to make sure that everything is explored.
Surprisingly, following the order of numbers provided under the small square with dark blue font and bright lines across it was not the way to discover the story thoroughly; each number represents the story from the perspective of one its characters; therefore, to unleash the true story; the reader has to be patient enough to explore it through each character’s eyes, which ensure the unfitness of this type of electronic literature, the story is never complete unless everyone depicts it his/her own way.
The “Twelve” in the title apparently refers to the twelve characters, and “blues” refers to their feelings or their sad stories. To start the thread with number one, the reader finds a girl talking about herself narrating past events when she once visited a carnival, the first impression does not give much detail to the reader, and the whole page has no navigation options except for a brief line in the middle depicting the phrase that kept repeating itself all over the page “follow me” (Joyce 1). The other numbers have a similar entity, only to discover the theme of the story, which seemed a bit vague at first glance, after finishing the reading, the story reveals its topics talking about miserable childhoods, a tentative of starting over for an unhappy woman, a child who was found drowned, in addition to other characters serving the plot. What is most interesting about this work is the efficiency of the author in making a single plot seems different; each time a new character is encountered reflecting an important fact about life which is the truth is relative; everyone believes his/her own sight to be the ultimate truth without considering other people’s views.
In conclusion, Twelve Blue is a work worthy of exploring of a talented author who managed to bring innovation to the traditional form of literature in a creative way. Michael Joyce succeeded in creating the atmosphere of the story’s theme through HTML navigation as he created a smart way to keep the reader interested until the end of the story.
Joyce, Michael. “Twelve Blue.” Https://Collection.eliterature.org/1/Works/joyce__twelve_blue/Twelve_Blue.Html, Eastgate Systems, Inc., 1996, collection.eliterature.org/1/works/joyce__twelve_blue/Twelve_Blue.html.
Pressman, Jessica. “Navigating Electronic Literature.” Electronic Literature: New Horizons For The Literary :: Essays, ELiterature ORganization, newhorizons.eliterature.org/essay.php@id=14.html.