The Building Blocks of Old Days

Uncle Rogers by Judy Malloy is an interesting hypertext piece. It is similar to a couple of other literary works we have examined in the class in terms of its format. The narration is non-linear and the reader is required to put everything together to follow the story. It has that puzzle-solving aspect that gives it a playful tone. Its easy-to-follow style of writing makes this certain aspect much more fun to play with, especially in comparison to those other works that contained very metaphorical and poetic styles. The story itself is very intriguing; or rather, the three stories that combine into one big story. It is simply being witness to specific relationships and personal interactions among people in social settings; parties or cafe meetings. With its subtle themes and complexities, the story manages to captivate its reader for sure. I do not think, the name Rogers was a random choice by the author.

One particular detail that impressed me is the year of its creation. It was apparently made in 1986-1988 by using the very early versions of HTML and other digital scripts. I’m not sure if this is the oldest electronic literature we had a chance to look at but it is fascinating. Having limited amount of resources tend to allow (or force?) people to use their creativity to make something compelling for others. This piece certainly proves that. Its “primitive” aesthetic adds a certain charm to it. The structure and format choices by its creator offer a nice presentation for the reader. I do not know exactly why but yellow text with a black background looks attractive for some reason.

Oddly enough, I was actually having hard time paying my complete attention because my own E-Lit piece kept creeping into my mind while reading it. Instead of simply experiencing this work as a reader, I was constantly examining its structure and thinking if I could apply similar details in my own project. So, I was more of an analyzer than an expected reader. I certainly need to re-visit this literary work after finishing up with that final project in order to experience what its author, Judy Mallow, had actually intended for her readers.

Speaking of which…

Final Project Update:

I was able to tinker with Twine and observe some possibilities that I could utilize in creating my story. I had a few ideas as to how I could incorporate certain elements to make it more appealing and more interactive as an E-Lit piece. Fortunately, I was able to do the things I needed by using a CSS cheat sheet. I have built a WIP story with stock images. At this point, I simply need to assemble the actual story with my own images. I expect the main portion of it to be done by next week; then I can focus on polishing and adding the final details during the last couple of weeks. Everything seems to be on track so far.

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