CONFUSION: Twelve Blue vs Pressman

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Dr. Zamora for telling us to read Pressman’s essay before starting “Twelve Blue”.

Pressman’s essay does a great job of explaining how electronic literature works. The most important and helpful piece of advice I retained from the essay is the importance of navigation. Navigation plays a major role in electronic literature. How the reader navigates the text not only determines the sequence of the text but also the reader’s interpretation of the text. This means that two people can read the same text and get two completely different takeaways from it. The author creates every conceivable path for the reader to navigate through. However, which path is chosen is ultimately left up to the reader.

An interesting point Pressman discusses is the difficulty many educators encounter when assigning electronic literature. The difficulty comes in when students all have different opinions of the text or find the navigation of the text to be confusing (me). However, Pressman finds the bright side to the student’s difficulty by stating that their frustrations “…can be turned into fruitful, self-reflective discussions about the role of media on the ways in which information is produced, disseminated, archived, and taught”. Reading this essay allowed me to better prepare for reading and navigating “Twelve Blue”.

Although Pressman’s essay was insightful, I was still left stumped by “Twelve Blue”. I found myself reading the same paragraph over and over trying to get a grasp of what the author was trying to say. At first, I navigated the text as some sort of avant-garde poetry because of the lack of stanzas. As I began to navigate the first selection of texts, I wondered if the author wants readers to look for similarities between the various texts. After analyzing four of the first selections, the only similarities I found were the mention of the color blue and women.

I kept reading for the rest of the hour but in the end l I was left with more questions than answers. My biggest question was “what exactly is the author trying to convey?” I even went back to the author’s description of the text and found myself becoming even more confused and frustrated. One thing I noticed was that the more I kept reading and navigating the site, the more Pressman’s explanation of electronic literature made sense. How the reader navigates the site ultimately determines how they interpret the literature. I navigated the text under the impression that the stories were not supposed to be linear but rather independent of one another but still connected.

Overall, electronic literature seems to be something very much outside of my comfort zone. I feel very intimidated about this class now. I am used to print-based literature that follows a linear format. Electronic literature is completely different. It is dynamic and left completely open to interpretation. I can’t wait to discuss this in class (mostly to see if my classmates were as confused as me).

Twelve Blue and Reading Elit

So here we are, finally getting a chance to jump into the meat and potatoes of the content we will be studying this semester, and it feels so good to be back at it.  First, I am going to briefly go over the Pressman article on Electronic Literature.  Coming into this class, I was excited to learn more about this since being in #netnarr last semester.  The article by Pressman gives a good general and broad overview of this kind of literature and almost acts as a guide or map to assist the reader in their pursuit of reading it.  First, we get introduced to hypertext, and how it bounces you around the story in a nonlinear fashion.  “How one navigates a hypertext determines what one reads and in which order.”  This statement from the article encapsulates what I imagine electronic literature to be; literature reimagined.  I personally do not know how I feel about a structure that could permeate different timelines and subsequent story lines in such a way that could possibly hinder classroom discussions.  I’m sure as we continue on our elit journey, I will garner an appreciation for such a thing, but as for right now, I am definitely a tad bit skeptical as far as reading with hyperlinks go.

Moving on in the article, the author began discussing something that I definitely need some help to understand.  When Pressman begins to explain “stir fry texts” I am honestly kind of lost.  I do not necessarily understand how this differs from the hypertext that was being discussed earlier in the article.  I understand how it has to do with hovering the mouse over the text which brings up more text and parts for the reader, I just have a disconnect as far as understanding how and why this is the case.  What is the purpose?  Is it effective?  These are all questions I have and hope our class can clarify a few of these things for me.

Using these new found principals as a guiding light, I jumped into the hypertext “Twelve Blue” by Michael Joyce.  I wish I had more to say or add than “What did I just read?”  I say that to mean the content and the story from what I read is not bad at all.  Rather, the manner in which we are reading it is foreign enough to me that it really does change the whole experience of it.  Even just the optics, this blue on blue thing they got going on is difficult for me to sit there and read through to say the least.  I know that these things will (hopefully) become clearer as time goes on and we get more time to play around with it in this course, but my first impression is definitely one of intimidation and fear of change.  See you all tonight!

From Feeling Blue to Singing the Blues: My Foray into E-Lit

I somehow always manage to disregard directions to go at things the way I want to, and exploring electronic literature is no exception to my obstinate ways. Instead of reading the essay “Navigating Electronic Literature,” by Jessica Pressman before delving into the introductory electronic literature piece Twelve Blue, I decided to go for the most … Continue reading From Feeling Blue to Singing the Blues: My Foray into E-Lit