With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

As Jeff Foxworthy Says, "Brevity Is The Soul of Wit."

(This post is affectionately, though bitterly, dedicated to two commentators from yesterday:Curtis and Anteater.)

I enjoyed the recently discovered essay by Susan Sontag.


girl who babbles about NREC while grinning said...

HAHAHA oh man. you put up that link. i bet no one watches it. i'm going to sleep. good night, oh brief one!

Susan Miller said...

Thank you for the link, Sir J.

Christina said...

Re: Sontag's description of the new "hyperfiction"

I disagree with Sontag's view that hyperfiction is only now becoming possible with the advent of the digital age. I think that hyperfiction was alive and well before the internet became a household staple, because I personally experienced over a decade ago what I feel is a form of hyperfiction.

I would argue that the venerable Choose Your Own Adventure series of books epitomized an early stage of pre-internet hyperfiction, possibly brought on by the changing zeitgeist in the late 70's and early 80's due to increasing awareness of globalization and the concept of "mass market choice" at a much younger age than previously ever experienced.

As the fiscally tulmultuous 70's gave way to the fiscally decadent "Me Decade" of the 80's, people were suddenly faced with an abundance of choice: the explosion of advertising all advocating consumerism, the value of branding, the need to "have it all" on a good line of credit. The "Choose Your Own Adventure" series was a reaction (or perhaps an outcome?) of this demand for choice in all facets of American culture. Plot was cursory at best; the basic parameters of the world were set up in mere sentences and scraps of information. It was up to the reader to choose their desired text bites and create the plot as well or as poorly as they wanted. Anyone attempting to read the story as a traditional story (beginning to end) would encounter jarring starts and stops and puzzling deaths for no apparent reason. The series was (and remains although no new ones are being published anymore) immensely popular. I feel this is so because our progression into a more massively informative world requires the equally massive truncation of such information to facilitate societal processing.

In essence, the stories were short, they were sweet, and you could do what you wanted with them. Hyperfiction at its finest, no digitization needed.

alecia said...

was choose your own adventure different from the goosebumps ones? cause i read the goosebumps books where you could choose the story. THEY RULED. i want to read one now. off to the library!!

taihae said...

I too wrote a thoughtful, insightful response essay. Problem being, I wrote it in eyeliner on a sheet of loose leaf after a night of binge drinking and I'm too hungover to type it all out now.

in answer to your query, no, no progress on the compy yet. The po pos are being, shall we say, less than helpful. At least I'm insured.

goldennib said...

Wow, that's not brief. I will need to finish tomorrow, but I like this, "Time exists in order that everything doesn't happen all at once ... and space exists so that it doesn't all happen to you." Thank God.

alecia said...

i'm not actually sure if time does exist though. in all seriousness.

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