E-Lit example for Multiplicity: White-faced Bromeliads on 20 Hectares

Author description: White-Faced Bromeliads on 20 Hectares is a JavaScript investigation of literary variants with a new text generated every ten seconds. Its goals are as follows. (1) To present a poetic evocation of the images, vocabulary, and sights of Costa Rica’s language and natural ecosystems though poetic text and visuals. (2) To investigate the potential of literary variants. Thinking of poems where authors have vacillated between variant lines, Bromeliads offers two alternatives for each line of text thus, for an 8 line poem, offering 512 possible variants, exploring the multi-textual possibilities of literary variants. (3) It explores the richness of multiple languages. (4) It mines the possibilities of translation, code, and shifting digital textuality. Having variants regenerate every ten seconds provides poems that are not static, but dynamic; indeed one never finishes reading the same poem one began reading. This re-defines the concept of the literary object and offers a more challenging reading, both for the reader and for the writer in performance, than a static poem. The idea is to be able to read as if surfing across multiple textual possibilities.

In this E-lit work by Loss Pequeno Glazier, I wasn’t quite sure what it was that the story was saying.  For one, parts are in Spanish, very little of which I understand.  Also, with unfinished sentences changing constantly, you’re never quite sure if you clearly get the message.  It becomes a game trying to link the miss-matched sentences.

This demonstrates Calvino’s quality of multiplicity in that there are many different things happening on the screen in front of you.  It says so much, so fast that you don’t actually get the opportunity to read it.  You can try, but understanding it is another thing.

E-Lit example for Visibility: Girls Day Out

Girls Day Out by Kerry Lawrynovicz

Author description: This is a work in Flash format. It contains three separate but related sections: the title prose poem, “Girls’ Day Out”; the author’s note on the poem; and “Shards,” a poem composed from phrases found in articles in the Houston Chronicle that covered the events that inspired the poem.

This is a very descriptive story through words but uses few photos. This is an understandable technique since the purpose of this piece is to commemorate the deaths of four girls/ women on land that the author had a connection to. Pictures of dead girls would probably not go over too well with the public. Instead, the author gives us bits from the police report which works equally well to convey the gruesome qualities of the murders. This allows for an imaginative visual process.

E-Lit Example for Exactitude: Faith

Faith –Robert Kendall
Faith is a kinetic poem that reveals itself in five successive states. Each new state is overlaid onto the previous one, incorporating the old text into the new. Each new state absorbs the previous one while at the same time engaging in an argument with it. The gradual textual unfolding is choreographed to music.

This work explores a poem that changes depending on the placement of the letters. It changes 5 times as more letters and words are added to the page. These words must be placed just so in order to tell the desired story. The author created the piece knowing precisely where words would appear, shift, and change in order to form the final poem. It follows Calvino’s “well-defined and well-calculated plan for the work in question.”

E-Lit Example for Quickness: Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky

Description:  Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky takes advantage of an elegant interface to present the type of lore often passed from parents to children. A voice, speaking Arabic, is paired with text in English, asking readers if they would like to hear a series of stories. Clicking blue stars in the night sky gives access to sparse stories.

In this E-lit example, the reader can experience interactivity and read whichever story they want out of the mix.  It’s a simple background of stars; some with a blue-ish hue to indicate that you can click on them.  There is a voice at the beginning to spark your attention.  The stories are placed in the center of the screen where you can scroll down if necessary.

What makes this piece representative of quickness is the pace it’s actually viewed at.  There are a variety of stories but they’re all short.  It reminds me of Calvino discussing the folktales.  The stories are folktales.  They are simple and short.  Extreme detail is not needed.  The reader is less likely to lose interest because the stories are quick and have different plots, yet it all somehow connects to the mysterious voice’s life.

E-Lit Example of Lightness: Dawn

Dawn- Reiner Strasser and Alan Sondheim

Author description: The poem combines aspects of love, death, and nature in one piece.  Originally it consisted of three parts: text, photography, and sound.  In the Flash version these parts are arranged in a loop completed by a minimalist interface (to pause).

I have chosen Dawn to represent lightness for several specific reasons.

1. It is short and repetitive, unlike some e-lit workd that seem to never end.  The simplicity of a short text can create a feeling of lightness.

2. The background is composed of fading images of nature at dawn.  Nature in itself is light.  It does not contain the complexities of human thought.

3.  Despite the crackling sound which is anything but pleasant, it is looped creating a never-ending sound that could just as easily be only two seconds long.  We don’t know but at the same time it doesn’t matter.

With some philosophical content, the words can be heavy but I felt that this piece’s composition had the representation of simplicity.