Blog #2

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.

Work Cited

Jessica Pressmen. “Navigating Electronic Literature”, newhorizons.eliterature, Accessed 13 Sept.2022

Michael Joyce. Twelve Blue, collection.eliterature, Accessed 13 Sept.2022

First Readings

Growing up I was a big fan of the “Choose your own adventure” books, games, stories, etc. I was excited to try something similar with “Twelve Blue.” I browsed around, read the instructions (after reading for a while, and realized I am not a huge fan of this story. I shouldn’t say story, but I don’t feel like I have explored enough to say genre.

Craft wise, I enjoyed the writing, the style, the beauty of the language, but it didn’t feel “choose your own adventure” because for most of the pages I landed on their was only one link to click. At one point I ended on a page that couldn’t be clicked. And it also didn’t feel streamlined. It felt like ease-dropping on multiple conversations in a subway and then getting off and realizing that everyone was talking about each other. It felt jumbled and confusing and then only being able to piece some things together after looking at my notes.

I won’t say anymore on “Twelve Blue” and leave it for class discussion. On to the next reading. I read this before going to “Twelve Blue” and found it helpful in thinking about what I was participating in. Whether I see the story as “Choose your own adventure” or not, it is apparent that navigation is at the center of the story.

I love the idea of navigation being the indicator of how the story is told and allowing the reader to be the key to the lock of the story.

I remember hearing about an interview with a musical artist who was asked about the meaning behind a song and they said something along the lines of, “Of course I have a specific thing I am singing about, but that doesn’t really matter anymore. Now that it is out in the world it isn’t just mine, it is every person’s who listens to it and the meaning they feel behind it.” This is a sentiment I think about constantly in everything I do, but especially my writing.

E-Lit takes this concept and amps it up. Every piece is thoughtfully written and structure and created with very specific meaning and intention. However, once it is out there that meaning that created it means a lot less than the meaning placed upon it by the interactive reader, the second creator of the piece.