The concept of digital literature possessing its own set of interpretation methods based on reader / text interaction is quite intriguing. The concept of a language within a standard language was a bit difficult to conceptualize at first, but as Jessica Pressmen explains in Navigating Electronic Literature it becomes apparent that we are active participants in this method of interpretation without realizing it. The writer illuminates how the interactions between the reader and the text through actions such as navigating and clicking hypertexts has influence over how the reader interprets and digests the information. As Pressmen states, “navigating a hypertext not only promotes questions about the role of the reader and the reading practice but also about the structure and signification of literature itself”, implying that the traditional role of reader and writer need to be revaluated in digital texts. Through varied examples Pressmen allows us to understand elements of a digital text such as hypertext or interactive reader input has the ability to transform derived meaning. The reader is directly involved with how the text is transmitted to them; as pressmen states, “Reading electronic literature is not only about accessing or receiving texts but also about producing and performing them.” This non-traditional literary concept of reader and text interactions promotes questions about “the role of the reader and the reading practice but also about the structure and signification of literature itself.” Which is necessary in order for any field to stay current and follow the evolving literary abilities and conventions of society.
The Major contrast between reading Navigating Electronic Literature by Jessica Pressman and engaging with an actual example such as Twelve Blue by Michael Joyce is the mental shift and being cognizant of the actions I am taking as I am reading. Although navigating through a digital text and clicking hypertexts are not new to me the way in which each action led to a different text felt incoherent and choppy. The mental shift needed to analyze how each text was related, or if it was related at all was agitating. I was also frustrated with the amount of time it took to go back to a text I found interesting, but this also meant I needed to be more intentional with my interactions with the text.
All in all, I believe that digital literacy requires a unique interpretation of reader/ text interaction. It expands on the notion of intentional interpretation and interaction with a text; in a sense building a stronger between the reader, the actual text and the original producer of the text.
Jessica Pressmen. “Navigating Electronic Literature”, newhorizons.eliterature, https://newhorizons.eliterature.org/essay.php@id=14.html. Accessed 13 Sept.2022
Michael Joyce. Twelve Blue, collection.eliterature, https://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/joyce__twelve_blue.html. Accessed 13 Sept.2022