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Lesson 10.  Poetic Possibilities

Fiction on the net? Poetry? And what about cross-genre work? Ficto-criticism? Autobiography? Reportage?

Exercise: Write a short text [500 words] – any genre - with hypertext guidelines about the view from a room you witness sometime during the next week.


What has postmodernism got to do with it?


Afterwards -
have a look at Noon Quilt at Trace. http://trace.ntu.ac.uk/quilt/index.html There the task set was - Look out your window at noon and write up to 100 words about/with what you see.

What gains and losses, as compared to a print version, have you experienced? Have you written the work as hypertext or translated an existing work (either is fine).

 

Text:

Gregory L. Ulmer. "The Miranda Warnings: An Experiment in Hypertextual Rhetoric." Hyper/Text/Theory. Ed. George P. Landow. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. 345-77. [In special Reserve]

Ulmer does use complex language and concepts but it is worth reading him for a (rather formal) attempt at exploring the possibilities of creative hypertext writing.

Ulmer contrasts 'hypertextual rhetoric' to alphabetic literacy's reliance on logic, hypertext relies on feeling and intuition as a source for exploring and creating meaning. He plays with the ‘logic’ of intuition through metaphor and metonymy (with appearances by Carmen Miranda and Ludwig Wittgenstein). Ulmer creates a web of associations whose ‘conductions’ respond to his questions about how to bring unconscious reasoning into a ‘cooperative’ relationship with logical analysis.

Ulmer believes hypertextual writing has its own distinctive rhetoric, ‘hyperrhetoric’, an associative rather than communicative writing form governed primarily by the inferential process of ‘conduction.’ This is writing by intuition, uncovering ‘word-things evoking feelings. Mood.’ (p371)

There is no ‘central processor’ in hyperrrhetoric, no set of rules, but a distributed memory, a memory triggered by a cue that spreads through the encyclopedia, the library, the database (connectionism suggests that the hardware itself should be designed to support the spread of memory through an associational network. I am learning to write with this remembering, outside of my head, working a prosthesis . . .’ (p346)

One can view this as creativity eating into fields of knowledge and university discourse. Ulmer wants ‘to invent or discover a genre for academic discourse that could function across all our media - voice, print, video.’ [i]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[i] Gregory Ulmer, Teletheory : grammatology in the age of video, Routledge, 1989.