One of the things I've been interested in this semester, is how the institutionalized splits between analysis and production situate us in less than useful ways for working with texts. This is a split that was central in the readings for this week on invention and so I decided to take a look at http://www.eliterature.org to see how digital literature was doing things that could trouble this split in interesting ways. While I was on the site, I heard a digital poem . And while listening to this poem by Thomas Swiss and animated by Motomichi Nakamura, I couldn't help but think about how even the split between writing and animating worked in some ways to reify this split. How could something "born digital" be written and animated by two different people? What would/could this kind of collaboration look like? This is yet another example, I think, of new forms not guaranteeing radically different ways of thinking.
While this poem, then, didn't help me gain many new insights into disrupting institutionalization of this split, I was interested by a feature on the page: the directions for reading digital works.
As I went to the sample texts page, I noticed that the narrative and game pieces offered directions for reading the pieces as a separate text. I was interested in how these directions work and how, in instances of "invention" this meta-textual information is provided as a way to help move and re-shape what our expectations for a text can be. While many of the links of other sample texts appeared to be broken, I was also interested in how certain texts, such as A Beautiful Portrait, didn't contain a link to this meta-text. I wondered why these texts were able to function on their own or even if and how they might benefit from a meta-text/directions like the other examples. These meta-texts are, of course, a form of invention in and of themselves as they, in ways, help us to invent interpretations of these texts, to identify them within their contexts and make meaning in ways that feel more comfortable and pleasurable.