New forms of readings texts are constantly emerging. Most recently, I read an interesting article titled The Rise of the Fragmented Novel which looks at some of the ways in which literature is evolving and intended to be imbibed in different, unorthodox ways. Over the last century or so, the novel has evolved and adapted, challenging the ways that they are intended to be interpreted and received. With the rise of Multi-Platform, this is becoming increasingly relevant.
Today I learned the term ‘Ergodic Literature’, which was described by Espen Aarseth, and is helpfully echoed by Wikipedia as:
“[In] ergodic literature, nontrivial effort is required to allow the reader to traverse the text. If ergodic literature is to make sense as a concept, there must also be non-ergodic literature, where the effort to traverse the text is trivial, with no extranoematic responsibilities placed on the reader except (for example) eye movement and the periodic or arbitrary turning of pages.”
Thanks, Aarseth. Thaarseth,
This sounds like it might well be helpful when it comes to writing my dissertation.
Mark Z. Danielewski said, of his books:
“My books are not CD-players. They’re instruments. A reader has to be willing to play them.”
By which he implies that there has to be some response, some interaction from the reader in order to imbibe one of his books. Again, with new media and the rise of interactivity in everything (thanks Apple. Thapple.) it stands to reason that there should be some sort of evolution when it comes to literature. That isn’t to say that the book shouldn’t also remain as it is, but what with eReaders getting about now, it seems unlikely that the standard Paper-And-Ink format of books will remain the standard. I don’t think they’re going anywhere, but there has to be room for change. I can imagine purists screaming at their screens as they read this, even as I write it. Ironically, they would be reading it on a screen of some sort, and so their argument is automatically invalidated.
Preparation is key. You have to love the question you’re asking, know where to look for relevant research and know what to follow up and what to discard as you swim through paragraph after paragraph. Research thoroughly, remember to cite your references, and you’ve got a way better chance of getting ahead.
Story is key, it is important, but it is evolving.
Jorge-Luis Borges was a god among men. (according to my lecturer.)
(To me, Rod Serling also fits this role.)
“90% of everything is crap.”
Sturgeon’s Law – Theodore Sturgeon