The article “Navigating Electronic Literature” discusses the navigation of electronic literature and how it is the signification of the work itself. I had a general sense about what they were talking about, but once I started “Twelve Blue” I understood better.
I chose “6” to begin and immediately fell in love with the author’s writing style, I thought it was romantic & experimental. Now, thinking back to those thoughts, I’m wondering if their writing style is experimental or is it the format (E-lit) in which it’s presented that makes it appear that way?
As we were told, this was a non-linear plot which did disorient me at times. There were also times when things began to click and I feel like it excited me more than it would in a print text. The disorientation of the plot made every thing so unexpected.
At first, I was frustrated. I wanted to love this piece so bad because I genuinely loved the writing, but the disorientation threw me off and annoyed me quite frankly. As I started connecting characters to each other and it felt more like a story, it subdued and I started to get sucked in.
Something from the essay came to mind as I was feeling my frustrations.
The idea of “relearning & reconstructing” the act of reading sounded all fun & great, until it reminded of all of the frustrations that come with that. The urge I had to just start from the beginning and “pick a new story” was definitely present. Thinking back, I can see how that’s also a positive aspect of e-lit. You don’t have to give up entirely on a piece of work because you have options.
As for the narrative itself, I think the hypertext form suits it well because it seems to intentionally create a dream-like state or something liminal. The chunks of text seemed to mimic a stream of consciousness. The narrative I followed had to do with a deaf boy who drowned in a creek and the writer seems to focus on that in-between life & death state by describing beautifully in depth what sounds & slight visions surrounded him. They also visit a woman’s life that had also been taken by the sea & how her mother also passed by drowning. There is a strong sense of nostalgia for something unknown. The woman waiting for her mother to return, even though she didn’t know her. The girlfriend of the drowning boy nostalgic for that blossoming romance cut short. What I couldn’t connect too easily were the doctors. I can see how they are both longing for new love after loss, but not much else. Although, I’m sure if I went farther into the narrative I would pick up more.
All in all, I would rate this first time experience a 7/10. I enjoy discovering and exploring anything new, but this was something entirely unknown. Either way, I did find myself wanting more and that’s always a good sign!