Disclaimer: You are reading one of my early blog posts for a class and will have no context for what I’m about to say. For that, I apologize
Hayles’ 2nd chapter makes me think of a book I read last year called A Visit From the Goon Squad. (Amazing, by the way.) The book was a series of interconnected short stories, sort of. Each chapter would be about someone you’ve met in the previous chapter, and you never really knew which person’s story would be featured next. The author, Jennifer Eagan, was such a marvelous, creative storyteller that I found myself wishing there was a story about EVERYONE in the book. I’m asking she take up an eternal task, of course, and that’s a little unreasonable. But what if many writers got together and collaborated? They wouldn’t all be Eagan, of course, but maybe that’s okay.
I was rather hard on the hand-wringers who wrote the articles that we read as our first assignment for this class, the ones who talked about how the internet affects the way we read (link to Carr and Birkerts). I’m imagining a form of hypertext novel, and then I’m picturing doing that through an author wiki, and that’s clearly influenced by my interactions with the internet. The internet is, indeed, affecting the way authors write and the way I read (except, unlike the authors of those articles we read for the first class, I embrace this change). Eagan already kind of headed toward that hypertext element in her book–without the internet, of course. I was just wondering what it would be like she’d post it online and people could attach stories to all the characters, so it would be an ever-branching system. It’s like real life–everyone has a story and a network of associations, each who have their own stories and network of associations, etc., until all people in the world are connected. Except in the world of real people, there’s a finite number of characters. In the literary world of imagined characters, we could go on forever, making an amazingly complex piece….