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On “Hobo Lobo of Hamelin”

Out of all four E-Lit pieces I had the choice to write about for this week’s blog, “Hobo Lobo of Hamelin” sold me based on name and the fact that I didn’t have to download anything/take up computer space (I wonder if this prospect deters others from fuller exploration of pieces such as  “Dwarf Fortress”).

The “Hobo Lobo” site looks old, and besides the gorgeous color choices it’s not the most visually appealing (the hand drawn illustrations are awesome, but the juxtaposition with font choice is strange). This ends up not being as much of a problem when you’re into the story, but at first it’s a little off putting.

Clicking the button marked “psst” at the top of the page (because of course you’re going to click it!) leads you right to the author’s website. Nice job controlling site traffic, Stevan Zivadinovic.

Because the site is old, it takes a while to load. Illustrations show up layer by layer instead of all at once, offering a neat little peek into Zivadinovic’s creative process. Because the illustrations were hand drawn I often forgot about the importance of searching them for easter eggs. When I did look, I found a number of fun sound effects (a croak when you click the frog and so forth).

What really sold me (upon first read(?) through) was the sixth page. A slow procession of hand drawn characters move across a landscape that spans four pages of its own. The colors are cozy and, although you have to wait a while to see the whole shebang and might be tempted to click through, the wait is worth it. And then … you’re taken out of the piece’s world and into a page of credits and author notes.

To be honest, after my first go through I had no idea what I’d just seen. Where was the story besides a few cute drawings? Deciding to begin again, I realized that you have to SCROLL HORIZONTALLY to see more. There is a story to follow, complete with sounds and images and text content. Should there be an instruction page or should I just look harder?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about e-lit thus far, one look is never ever enough.

Also, the night/outdoor drawings to red collage panel is GORGEOUS. I’ve never seen something like that on a computer, just at art fairs with magazine collages.

 


Hobo Lobo of Hamelin

Just from looking at the first page of hobo lobo, I am intrigued. The storybook feeling with text that starts with “Once upon a time” and a colorful picture at top – very cool. We get introduced to the story with the text: “Once upon a time, in an age long forgotten because it was somewhat boring and contrived, there was this picturesque hamlet full of God-fearing wholesome people”.

On the top of the page you can see numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4… So I clicked on “2”: The picture change and a new text pops up. The image doesn’t just change like it would if you scroll thru pictures on your phone, It slides from one picture to another by things popping up and moving – soo cool and interesting, i can’t wait to see what comes next!

Skjermbilde 2017-09-10 kl. 22.22.13

At the third text I realize that this story isn’t for children – Skjermbilde 2017-09-10 kl. 22.32.35 This is going to be interesting!

I go to the next page and the page after that, I realize the story is about a mayor who is nervous about a election. He goes to a psychic, and what i really liked there is that the round glass ball that she looks into to see his future, it was moving stuff around inside it – almost like fireworks.

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After that, we I see “page 2”, so I clicked on it, a new chapter unfolds…

Skjermbilde 2017-09-10 kl. 22.42.50

“One day, a stranger came to town” 

Lets see what this stranger is up to. He opens up a shop in the market. He´s Hobo lobo! I forgot to mention the rat problem, this is what the mayor is mostly concerned about. And he goes to hobo lobo to try and get some help from him.

Skjermbilde 2017-09-10 kl. 23.16.17(And I get more and more impressed by all the images/drawings!! I love how detailed and cool they are.. also the colors use, it set a certain mood to the whole story)

A new chapter unfolds.. and sound appears, grasshoppers and birds in the background at night – I feel like I´m in the story. In the beginning of this chapter it doesn’t have text, only pictures – and the further we get, a harmonica starts to play louder and louder, I really enjoy this chapter.

Skjermbilde 2017-09-10 kl. 23.25.59.pngSuddenly the colors change from blue at night to red, and the pictures get creepy.. next chapter..

“Days went by and Hamelin was free from rats.” So.. Hobo Lobo solved the problem??, but the mayor took all the credit?? It seems like that. “A week went by and Hamelin was still rat-free. The mayor wasn’t coming by to pay the Lobo, so Lobo called the mayors’ office”

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The mayor and Hobo lobo is not on good terms. He refuses to pay Hobo, and throws him out on the street when he tries to talk to him. Hobo sues the mayor and the city government. It doesn’t go well….

“The judge demanded to see the contract in question and was not satisfied with the explanation that it was a verbal agreement. Lobo was deemed in contempt of the court for bringing up a frivolous suit.

What’s more, the mayor countersued the Lobo for blackmail and extortion and won—now he owed a large damage sum and the cost of two trials”

we then see the mayor is getting interviewed on a radio show… and on chapter 7…

Skjermbilde 2017-09-10 kl. 23.39.43

…the story ends..

.. music starts, and people walk in a line..

Skjermbilde 2017-09-10 kl. 23.40.50

And when you click on “more to come”, we get this information:

Stats: Updates happen on average every 23.3 days. Recently they’ve happened 72.3 days apart. Last update happened 1137.2 days ago… Ahem, I am probably very sorry stuff is late. I suspect I may have a good reason for it. Twitter or Tumblr may know more… Also, check out stats over time.

Its a long time since the last update… but! I really enjoyed this story. I loved the pictures, I loved the music, it didn’t get boring at all, some stories I just want to skip everything – but not in this case. I wanted to see and read everything! I loved it!


II. Hobo Lobo of Hamelin

The second piece I have decided to write about is the “Hobo Lobo of Hamelin”. A little disclaimer first: I was not able to listen to the music when I first encountered the piece. So, this is a feedback on the visuals, the story and it’s general workings – I will try to read it with the music before class if I can.

The general aesthetic of this piece is amazing. When you first open the site, it just looks like a pretty picture-book-like illustration, but when you interact with it, it turns out to be so much more than that. The author has cleverly constructed a multi-layered piece that makes use of the new possibilities of digital art while still playing on the conventions of classic literature. It is easy to navigate and because it works from left to right, it feels like reading a picture book. Also, the effect of cut-out paper seems to be a vital part of the visuals. What struck me was the colour scheme: the contrasts were so well set and changed according to the narrative. This was not just pretty, but changed the whole experience of the story and added a new way of perceiving the narratological structure. For example, when the green changes into red, the connotation of violence and blood is obvious. And on page 5, the two colours are combined to mark the point where the Lobo’s attitude towards the mayor changes and he decides to take revenge. The colours subconciously influence the way we read the story and the way in which we generate meaning.

The most interesting question to me was: why is it so witty and funny? I think the author achieves this through two things. First, it is a clever mix between old and new. The story is so well-known that it serves as common ground for the reader and the author so that puns and references work without having to establish them first within the story.  Interestingly, it still works as a fairy tale – it’s still “once upon a time” and probably “in a land far away”, even though people have TVs, newspapers and IKEA furniture. However, like “Redridinghood”, it calls the clear black-and-white distinction between good and evil into question that traditional fairy tales rely on. This leads me to the second point: it has a very clear political message. The “progressive Fascist-Calvinist coalition” that is in power turns out to be a dictatorship that has a part of it’s population assassinated. However, this is not really surprising – after all, the mayor is literally a Dick Mayor. This piece is a wonderful and clever tale about the importance of democracy, especially in a time where right-wing populism is becoming increasingly popular.


#2 The Day Glitter Saved the World

This weeks blog post is about the elit piece/game Qiung’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames. I know very little to nothing about video games, but I do know a lot about not fitting into the box “girl” – according to other people that is.

Quing’s Quest VII shows the ridiculousness of gender norms. I think Dietrich Squinkifer adresses something everyone can relate to such as not feeling like they belong or having their “elders” telling them they did something wrong. So even though the piece tells a story of gender equality or feminism, people who might not see themselves as someone who fights for these particular matters, still can relate to the overlining aspects of the story.

As a hypertext fiction the reader (who is also the main character) gets choices of what they want to do throughout the story. I think the main one is the choice of what You will do to your home Videogames once you’ve fought of the Gamer Police, the options are to: Save Videogames, Destroy Videogames og Get the helle away from Videogames. I think this is a comment from the author, that the reader have to make a choice on how to solve the problems caused by Gamergate (or in general problems with inequality). It is not an easy question to answe and in the end the only options are to destroy Videogames or let it destroy itself, it is to late to save what once was.

In the story language is used to emphasize the meaning of the text. The main vessel is The Social Justice Warrior, which is also what is used to eventually destroy Videogames (in my version anyway). There is really no question what the text is attempting, social justice for everyone, whether they see themselves as them, she or he. The “bad guys” of the stories are Misogynerds, a wordplay that I think adresses something in the real world. I think the word “nerd” is taken more as an insult, than the word misogynist (even though [I think] it should be the other way around), so the combination is great, especially when you keep the intended audience in mind.

The music that is used for the different parts of the story matches the contens of the pages very nicely. I think it’s a funny that some of the music is made by people in the LGBTQ-community, it underlines the main theme of the text.

Overall I very much enjoyed this piece of elit, everything from language to music to the visuals of the piece emphasizes its points. I think it is great to use humor as a weapon. This is a low-key way of letting people know you think they are wrong or mistreating more than half of the Worlds population.

On a final note I think we should all just appreciate for a minute how DEATH BY GLITTER would be the worst nightmare of toxic masculinity, and isn’t that just the perfect way for it to go?

 

Read more about Quing’s Quest VII  here: http://collection.eliterature.org/3/work.html?work=quings-quest-vii

 


Quings Quest VII: The Death of Video Games

Quings Quest VII is a game made by Dietrich Squinkifer in 2014. It was presented this week in elitclass and as such I was fairly familiar with the work before trying it out for myself for this week’s blog. I also took the time to read up on the work on the eliterature collection volume 3 beforehand as I wanted a clearer understanding as to why the game was made. According to the author statement, the game was made to express his frustrations as a result of the tense situations surrounding Gamergate, and how divided the gaming community became in their endless arguments of what video games should or shouldn’t contain. As such the game is both a nod to old school games while containing everything that supposedly ruins video games, making it something of a playful parody.

To navigate the piece you have to click on links found throughout the game’s text, making it a mixture between an old-school text-adventure and a hypertext piece of e-literature. You also have a lot of freedom of choice when it comes to trying out different links. Some of them let you move around, or offers additional background story, or humorous anecdotes, but most are not necessary to finish the game. To me that gives the game some replayability, should you feel inclined to learn everything, but without making you feel like you miss out on too much if you don’t. The overall story itself is fairly linear, and you don’t always have the freedom of turning back so the length of a playthrough can therefore vary a bit.

Aside from the text, there is the game’s logo on the title screen as well as a starry background that goes with the space setting. Otherwise there are no other visuals, leaving you to use your imagination as one would with text-adventure games back in the day. There is also music and the occasional sound effect accompanying a screen to set a certain mood, be it relaxing, funny or tense.

Overall it is a very simple piece to navigate, and even if you miss out on some text you will still have a good understanding of the story. The story itself is essentially the main character and their genderfluid compatriot lamenting how the misogynerds invaded their home planet ‘Videogames’ and decided for everyone else what was supposed to be right. There’s also the character Frankie, who could represent those who didn’t necessarily directly side with anyone in the conflict, but did so indirectly by not voicing their opposition as they benefited from one side anyway.

While there are two different endings, they have a similar feel to them. The first has you blowing up what remains of the home planet, so that a new one can regrow, hopefully as a better place than it was before; or leaving the world behind to collapse in on itself while searching for a new home. It paints a somewhat hopeless picture of how things must’ve felt at the time, but also a hopeful outlook that maybe when things blow over something good will come of it. I thought it was a pretty amusing game, and I quite enjoyed the retro style and references found within.


The hobo lobo of hamelin

this is my review of the hobo lobo of hamelin, and then some rambling about dwarf fortress:

What got my attention.

What first attracted me to the hobo lobo, was the aesthetic, the way the style blended 2D and 3D like effects without using 3D reminded me of Darkest Dungeon. (DD is a 2D game with this action shot like animation, where the animation is only a few frames, the way its drawn and animated makes it feel very alive and engaging.)

Darkest Dungeon example gif

And it almost had the look of a digital incarnation of a popup book. But as I got further into the hobo lobo I found the story engaging and the imagery very much to my liking, and the use of sound later in the pages works really well.

The hobo lobo is inspired by the story of pied piper, if you’re not familiar with the story, pied piper is a story about a rat catcher named pied piper, who was hired to remove the rats from a town called Hamelin. He was offered 1000guilders for the job, then the mayor stiffed him om the reward money, the pied piper then uses his magic pipe to lure all the children away, here some versions diverge. In some versions, the pied piper kills the children (either drowning or luring them into a cave), and in others he leads them away to a better land. This is clearly the basis of the hobo lobo. But the hobo lobo is not simply a retelling of the pied piper, even with some of the same elements, the narrative has changed.

 

What is the hobo lobo like, and what the navigation is like.

The hobo lobo is a side-scrolling visual novel. That’s not entirely descriptive enough, when you enter the hobo lobo, there is a field in the middle of the screen, about 1 third of the screen, with the visuals, the bottom half of the screen is reserved for the text, or lexias.

You can navigate on the top, by pressing the numbers, and that gives a floating navigation, that passes where you are going and then goes a bit back, a very nice effect that brings out the 2D depth of the visual aspect. If the numbers navigation not had this effect, you could have missed the very nice animation effects of the piece. The other way of navigation is simply using the arrow keys, you can go back and forwards as you wish.

Leonardo Flores noted that the use of the infinite canvas in the visual style to create the depth, and using the depth to create new things to find at every angle. And I think that’s the reason I like to use the arrow keys, to be able to look back at the scene, see what I missed.

In the comic podcast, “the comics alternative podcast”, they mention that the hobo lobo is not really accessible on other devices than desktop, I mean you can see it on mobile or a pad device, but it’s not recommended or any good. The scrolling effects and the depth of the piece is lost on a mobile device, and you have to scroll down to read all the time. This was something I had not considered, when reading it on desktop, they also point out that the hobo lobo is not something that would work printed out, the depth and the scrolling effect would be lost on paper. The consideration of where, how and what devices a piece works on is something to consider when looking deeper into a piece.

Hashtagoctothorpe is a blog on WordPress, its written by a creative writing student at the University of North Florida, and they had some sharp observations on the literary references in the hobo lobo.
The homages to different literary works was not as obvious to me, but after reading the blogpost I had (yet) another look at the  hobo lobo, and I discovered, if not new meaning, then a new angle to view the hobo lobo. I especially like the line “This was noticed” now, after Hashtagoctothorpe pointed out its pointient placement. I did pause at the image of the boy kicking a ball against a wall, but it was only after a second look at the hobo lobo, and the line “This was noticed”, did I catch the meaning.

Genre.

As far as genre is concerned, the hobo lobo can be different things, it’s kind of a interactive fiction. And there is no real choices in the piece, but you have the control of the pacing (except the last page). And you are left up to yourself to discover the secrets of the story, but as there is no choices, it’s not a full-fledged interactive fiction piece, in my opinion. It’s also much like a digitized poetry, as many of the lines are poetic, and many of them are stabs, or references to other texts and poetry. And it is more like epoetry than anything else, but I have to mention that many people talking about the hobo lobo, mentioned that it was like a digital comic, where the style and the imagery is something out of a comic, but the way it uses digital tools, i.e. the depth and the sound, is wholly digital and unlike comics. Still I think there is something to consider, would electronic comics be a good genre to include in the electronic literature world? could electronic comics be something that we see more of? Even in the mainstream pop culture world? I would read them, that I know.

Final thoughts.

Damn I like this piece, what first attracted me to the hobo lobo was the aesthetic, and after looking at the hobo lobo several times it’s still the best thing about it for me. Now the political overtones of the piece are really noticeable, and I like the way it is done, the boy not finding someone to play ball with, the streets being quiet, the mood changing. This reflects on the meaning of the original pied piper, where evil deeds are seldom rewarding, but further than that, problems in the world seldom have an easy solution.

i would wholeheartedly encourage you to check it out.

 

 

 

 

 

Dwarf fortress and games as elit.

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Now I am not going to go on and on about what should be the definition of games and electronic literature, even though it’s a good debate. There is something else I would like to bring up for discussion, if dwarf fortress is electronic literature (and I think it is) then what other games are as well, and is the player the writer of these works?

What is dwarf fortress?

Dwarf fortress is a game created by Tarn Adams and Zach Adams, the work began in 2002, and the first alfa of the game released in 2006, the game is completely free. Dwarf fortress is a simulation game, and it utilizes ascii art as the graphics, ascii code represent text in computers, but is used as the graphics for the game. Here are two pictures, the first the original, second, the game with a graphics pack (aka a mod)

orginal dfmodded df

Now it’s not 100% clear to me from reading the description in the elit collection, why dwarf fortress is in the collection. The possible reasons are not mutually exclusive.

One, when you create a world in dwarf fortress the game simulates a legend of the world, who exists, what they do, who is going to war, who won. It does this year by year, until the year you specified. Now this creates a story which is random, and reacting to other random things that happen, and you can read what happened in what is called a legends reader, or discover it by meeting races and people in game. This in itself can be electronic literature, the number of different things that can happen is huge, and you can simulate a thousand years, and then read about all the individual people that lived for those thousand years.

Two, it can be all that, and what you as a player ends up changing as you play, when you play you influence the story of the world, and you can change what could have happened.

Three, it’s the story’s that you as a player experience in this world that has been randomly generated, and the ways you deal with challenges and the random things that happen.

Speculation.

Now the interesting question here, is does the player create the story? We have discussed the part of the user in class before, when someone reads electronic literature, do you create when you interact with it or is it the work that is. Does my reading of a work that has choices change the story, or is it the work that does the work?

Does this change in a game like dwarf fortress? Does all the random generation, and player agency change that to be a player writing a story, not necessary for anyone else, but for himself.

If you would agree with me that the third option here is not that farfetched, could other simulation games, where the player changes so much that two games are never the same, and the worlds cannot be recreated, could this also be electronic literature?

I know that this is further into the realm of speculation, and I don’t want to press an argument based on too many what ifs, but I challenge you to play a game of civilization, dwarf fortress or rimworld, see what stories you can create.

Here is a link to someone reading a player story, I found it to be really interesting.

And here is a link to a video discussing the stories in dwarf fortress, and the player creating them.


#1 Like Stars in A Clear Night Sky

Like Stars in A Clear Night Sky makes me feel like I’m sitting in a desert and looking up at all the beautiful and clear stars, while a fellow traveller – perhaps someone I’ve only just met, is telling stories of their life, a life so different to mine, and yet quite alike.

When first entering the piece by Sharrif Ezzat you see a black screen and hear a man talk in Arabic with english “subtitles”. While the titles of the stories within the piece are said out loud, the black screen get’s filled up with stars, some brighter than others. The brightest (or bluest) are his stories.

As mentioned the piece consist of different short stories, styled almost as poems, and each of them have some sort of existential questions at the end. “Is this life a test? / Is that why we suffer? / Or is that how we endure it?” (Shall I tell you about my uncle whose life is a test?) or “What will it take to make him happy?” (Shall I tell you about my cousin, whose palace is unfinished?). The questions make the piece stick with the reader, at least it did with me, and the desert sky and arabic voice made me think of a culture so different from mine and yet close to it.

In my first notes about this piece I wrote that the stories were about people who are unhappy, and I think that is true to some extend, but as I have read them again I think the main theme of these stories are love, both the happy and less happy (not necessarily unhappy). There is the story of a man who is married to a woman who despises the place he is from, but I think he still loves her, or sees the part of her he fell in love with, even though other parts of her are now showing. In that story you could say the unhappiness lies within the couple.    

In another story (Shall I tell you about my sister? Please let me tell you about my sister …) the unhappiness is coming from outside. The storyteller’s sister falls in love with a man below her social class, which her parents disapprove, and they try to break them apart. Within this story I don’t necessarily think the couple in love are unhappy, not always anyway. Therefore I think the main theme of these stories are the struggles of love.

There is also larger narratives that goes beyond the family and friends of the storyteller.  In the story Perhaps I should tell you that the whole world is determined to become my family I get the idea that it’s about refugees; “Some are scared and seeking shelter. / Some are confused and don’t know how they / arrived. / Others are overjoyed. / And have already / Started cooking the first meal.”. I think this translates very well to what people immigrating to a new country must feel, while it also illustrates that no one has the exact same experience. I think there is an element of social criticism in this piece, even though it is more obvious in some texts than others.

Overall I really liked this piece it made me stop and think, instead of just be “something I had to read for a class”. Apart from that I really think the layout of it is beautiful and the text, audio and visuals really suit each other.  


Soliloquy

This week’s piece of electronic literature is Soliloquy, created by Kenneth Goldsmith.

I decided to go in without fully reading the description so that it would make for a bit of a surprise what would happen. When you at first open the piece you are greeted by two quotes that pertain to the work in some way, and to begin with I did not pay them that much attention, nor did I know what the title of the work actually meant, but I will be getting to that shortly. After these two screens you are given the freedom to pick a weekday, and from there an additional ten separate pages for each day to potentially explore. I randomly picked Friday, and was greeted by a single word; “Hi.”. I went on to page two, where there was an entire sentence, and so on until I tried to move the mouse around on page five. That was when it hit me that each of the pages were filled with a wall of text with seemingly little rhyme or reason. It was at this point that I took a step away from the work to read the description, as well as look up what the title meant and I reread the quotes at the beginning to help gain a better understanding of what was going on. Soliloquy is the act of talking out loud to yourself, and Kenneth had been recording himself doing just that for an entire week, before gathering it into one collective work.

Now, despite there being no sound or imagery I was still left with quite the impression when I first noticed that there was far more text on each page than I thought at first. It also meant the piece seemed a bit more overwhelming in the sense that there would simply be no way to really understand what all of the text is about, because it is in the end just a guy talking to himself. And in a similar fashion to when you think to yourself, the brain is pretty bad at sticking with one topic for too long, so Soliloquy in a way visualizes through text just how unstructured our thoughts can be even when spoken out loud in an informal setting. It also means that it doesn’t matter all that much what order you read it in as there is no greater narrative or meaning to the topics that are brought up.

Despite there being no sound or imagery I was still left with quite the impression when I first noticed that there was far more text on each page than I thought at first. It also meant the piece seemed a bit more overwhelming in the sense that there would simply be no way to really understand what all of the text is about, because it is in the end just a guy talking to himself. And in a similar fashion to when you think to yourself, the brain is pretty bad at sticking with one topic for too long, so Soliloquy in a way visualizes through text just how unstructured our thoughts can be even when spoken out loud in an informal setting. It also means that it doesn’t matter all that much what order you read it in as there is no greater narrative or meaning to the topics that are brought up.

This makes me question how it is considered a literary work. Because when it comes to literature you have a set of expectations as to how you understand them, yet so many of these are broken here.

Technically the piece is chronological, in that it overall takes place over the course of a week, but there is both the freedom to choose what day to explore, as well as a lack of other defined times that makes it difficult to discern what time of day a part of the text might take place. The same goes for place, as one can at best guess where Kenneth is for one sentence, yet the following line could be somewhere else entirely and you would never know without context. This is where I think the two quotes at the beginning of the work comes in;

“Don’t for heaven’s sake, be afraid of talking nonsense! But you must pay attention to your nonsense.” (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

Reporter: Why don’t you write the way you talk?

Gertrude Stein: Why don’t you read the way I write?

The first quote could perhaps suggest that it is okay if what is said makes no sense, as can be said for a lot of the work, yet at the same time it isn’t meaningless if you actually pay some attention to it. Even if not everything is clear to me as a reader there are still details to be found in the text that can paint a picture of a scene sometimes.

The second quote is an interesting one, as -indeed- the entire work is written the way Kenneth spoke for an entire week, and I feel this can be understood either literally or symbolically. Certainly, you can read it all in order and you will indeed read the work as it was written. Or you could read it in any order you like, and given how nonsensical the writing can appear to be then it stands to reason that so too can the order you read it in be. There doesn’t have to be some greater meaning as to why you read one part before another, just like how not everything you say during the day will be in a specific order. So how is it a literary work, exactly? Well, even if it breaks the conventional rules of literature, there is still some sense of time, place and progression going on throughout the text. It may come across as nonsensical, but it isn’t meaningless or pointless either.

In the end it makes for an interesting and thoughtful piece even in its simplicity. No pictures, no sound, only the written words that were spoken over the course of a week. And it does not have to be more than that to be intriguing.


Monday Blog / 4 September

I’m jumping into all of this a little last minute without much knowledge about how or what I should be doing, but that can be good right? I still have thoughts!

For this post, I’m choosing to respond to “like stars in a clear night sky” by Shariff Ezzat.

And what better way to start off a semester of e-lit than with a particularly striking line: “I am full of stories.”

Compared to other e-lit pieces I’ve come across, this played more ethereal. The formatting is lovely, and the sounds/voice works surprisingly well for being played out of my computer speakers. I didn’t mute it, which is important. Even the font is really sweet. “Pretty” I suppose.

In this piece, a calming male voice begins by speaking in arabic while english subtitles appear on the bottom of the screen. Everything that is said appears once again when the voice stops, little pieces of the monologue can be found when scrolling over one of the pages many stars.

The small bits of text you get when clicking on a star read like short poems. I’m sure you could spend a long time digging into them, but they read to me like a lullaby.

Not every star on the page has a story attached, and searching for them takes patience. However, the page had a sort of calming effect — I didn’t feel like running my mouse all over so I could be done quickly. When you finally land on a story it’s like finding a little gem or present.

These are mere observations, and they’re not very analytic (I’ll get better). All I know for certain is that some e-lit texts have horrible graphics, and some are lovely. I enjoy the pretty ones more, and the sound of bells and bird chirps doesn’t hurt.

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 1.24.48 AM
my favorite. am I “you” ?