Categories: electronic literature, exhibition, launch, Writing Coastlines
. . . and by islands I mean paragraphs casts a reader a drift in a sea of white space extending far beyond the horizon of the browser window, to the north, south, east and west. Navigating (with mouse, track pad, arrow keys, or touchscreen) reveals that this sea is dotted with islands… and by islands I mean paragraphs. These paragraphs are computer-generated. Their fluid compositions draw upon variable strings containing fragments of text harvested from a larger literary corpus – Deluze’s Desert Islands, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Bishop’s Crusoe in England, Coetzee’s Foe, Ballard’s Concrete Island, Hakluyt’s Voyages and Discoveries, and lesser-known sources including an out-of-date guidebook to the Scottish Isles and an amalgam of accounts of the classical and possibly fictional island of Thule. Individually, each of these textual islands is a topic – from the Greek topos, meaning place. Collectively they constitute a topographical map of a sustained practice of reading and re-reading and writing and re-writing islands. In this constantly shifting sea of variable texts one never finds the same islands twice… and by islands, I do mean paragraphs.
…and by islands I mean paragraphs will launch at Les littératures numériques d’hier à demain, an exhibition of digital literature to take place at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, in conjunction with Chercher le texte, Paris, France, 24 September – 1 December 2013.