First blog post

Blog #1: Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky

I’ve chosen to write about ‘Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky’ for my first blog in Electronic Literature. Although I looked through all the three recommended pieces of electronic literature, this one was the only one that really stood out to me.

You are completely free to choose how to navigate this piece, as it is a compilation of various short stories which, to me at least, didn’t immediately relate to each other. Instead this piece comes off as simply different works that make up the stories that makes up a person—or possibly multiple people. The freedom in choosing where to go in Clear Night Sky was similar to some of the other works we’ve already looked at earlier, such as 12 Blue for instance. Simply go wherever you please and start exploring.

“Shall I tell you about the boy that dreams the world” was the title of the first option that caught my interest, without knowing anything about what I was about to click, I choose the most intriguing title. The piece presents itself very neatly and organized, and the only real interactive part that follows once we enter this link is the option to scroll down or up again. Nothing mind-blowing, but that’s probably not what this piece is going for either. There’s a feeling of serenity to this piece, so it follows if this is supposed to be laidback and not revolutionary in the community of electronic literature—less is more here, in a sense, because more would ruin the pace and the overarching theme.

A somewhat clever and cute touch to this piece is that the unique blue stars on the night sky—that serves as the hyperlinks used to navigate between the work—happen to change locations on the night sky whenever you start the electronic literature over again. It’s not a consequential part of the piece, just a nice touch.

Visually these short stories are structured as poems or rhymes, but to my knowledge they are simply short stories that as delivered as narrations from a third party. We’re told the stories as if from an old grandparent-figure that’s entertaining their grandchildren with various stories that they’ve accumulated over the years. The stories as read as simple texts, no real flexing of eloquence or prowess, simply just short and nice stories.

The themes within the short stories themselves vary greatly from each other, but with the overarching motif of space, stars, and vastness—I think we are supposed to take from the motifs a feeling of greatness and unite, in the same sense that these stories are different from each other, they are all still part of a greater picture.

The music is very soothing and strikes me as trying to make the reader relaxed and tranquil. There’s a great deal of soft chimes, or windchimes, accompanied by the occasional chirping of birds, which culminates in therapeutic music that lends itself to the relaxed feel of the texts.

Finishing reading through the different pieces makes you think that this is the re-telling of a person’s most defining moments in life—the ones that shaped him. It makes me sort of think of this piece as a very graphically enhanced biography—sort of, in a weird way.

That’s it for me now, looking forward to blogpost #2.

—Robert


Welcome

Greetings, and welcome to my student blog!

I am a student at UiB who is taking a course in electronic literature in Fall 2017, part of which requires maintaining both a blog and a twitter account for grading purposes. Content-wise the blog will therefore feature my thoughts on some of the works that can be found found within the Electronic Literature Collections volume 1-3, which I hope will prove to be an interesting experience.

The first blog post about a piece of electronic literature is due Sept. 4th, so stay tuned!


Our first #elitclass meeting

So nice to meet you on Monday morning!  I enjoyed meeting you all for the first time, and getting to know just a little bit about each of you.  I enjoyed my first official teaching day at UiB, and I can tell already that you will be a great group to work with this semester.  Please remember that I will be in Oslo from Wed-Fri this week for my Fulbright Award orientation program, so we will not meet this Wednesday (Aug. 23).

A review of what we did together on Monday:

-We introduced ourselves. (Thanks for playing along.)

-We talked/walked through the course website and syllabus.

To do for next Monday when we meet again:

-Please email me your class blog URL & your class twitter account. You should be ready to start tweeting each week with our class hashtag #elitclass (and feel free to use the hashtag #elit as well) .

-Read Pressman’s “Navigating Electronic Literature”.  This essay is located in “About Electronic Literature:  New Horizons for the Literary”.

-Surf the Electronic Literature Collections (Vols 1, 2, and 3)!  Please spend approximately one hour checking out each of the three volumes.  Just peak around and open up different texts to discover what awaits you there.  Start to search for a few texts you might want to choose for your review presentation.  We will settle the schedule next week for your review presentations next week, so consider what date you would like to present on (and make a mental “short list” of your top choices to work with).

As you look through the Electronic Literature volumes this week, please notice the expectations & strategies you bring to the texts. What do you like & why? What frustrates you and why?  Remember to be open to new experiences, because they are there, …just waiting.

Looking forward to next Monday.

Have a great rest of this week,

Dr. Zamora

Welcome to #elitclass

Welcome to “Writing Electronic Literature”.  Soon we will meet each other for the first time as a class, and an embark on a journey that will be transformative for all of us.  Some of you might have an idea of what Electronic Literature might be, while others are really not clear.  Some of you might feel relatively self confident in a technological environment, while others might feel more than a bit of trepidation.  Whether you fall into one of these categories or the other, I guarantee you will learn a great deal in this class.  You will learn many practical things, like how to work with new technologies that you have never been introduced to before.  But more importantly, you will all learn more about yourselves.  You are invited to jump into a new realm and explore and discover.  And you will have ample chance in this class to exercise both your analytical skills, and your imagination.

I look forward to speaking with all of you soon, as we discuss what this course can mean to all of us.  We will begin by collectively considering what literature is, and what new media and the digital realm might offer to expand our understanding of what literature can be.  Throughout our class together, this blog will be our “homebase”, and soon each of you will have your own linked blogs which will be syndicated here on this site.  This e-location for our work together will house our collective reflections, our resources, and our continuing conversation throughout the semester.

Here are a few videos to get that conversation started:

“How to Read A Digital Text”

 

 

“E-Literature Explained”

 

“The Electronic Literature Exhibit – MLA 2012”

Looking forward to getting know of each of you and working with you this semester!

Sincerely,

Dr. Zamora