I feel like I am honestly having a hard time connecting with electronic literature. It probably doesn’t help that I am not a big fan of classic literature in the first place. With that being said, I chose to focus on the “Bots” collection, because I am not familiar with Mayakovsky. However, even the Bots collection the pieces leave me confused and flustered. I have explored all of the bots posted in this collection, one by one. I find myself totally confused. I think I understand the concept that a computer program uses some sort of algorithm to generate random posts. And sometimes they come together into something that is amusing. Call me a party pooper, but I just didn’t get it.
Funnily enough, the only bot that I somewhat connected to was the “How 2 sext” bot. The description says, “it plays on describing intimate messages between partners in often un-sexual language.” One says, “You quickly manage peer pressure while i stay focused on my studies.” Does this mean the author believes his/her peer quickly gives in to peer pressure while they manage to stay away from it and focus on their studies? My brain may just be too literal for this. I definitely need to stay late tonight and speak to my professor…
To be very honest, Twelve Blue and certain forms of elit initially strike me as… uncomfortable. In Twelve Blue, there are a great number of characters and plots that are all happening simultaneously. The story starts with a girl who falls for a carny, then jumps to “September’s Embers never ending” from the perspective of a girl who is on her way to school. Next is Samantha, who wants to plan a tea party and invite a girl who’s boyfriend drown in a creek. This type of storytelling is so confusing for me. I have difficulty keeping up with all of the story lines and characters, and sadly I lose my focus.
The interesting part of all of this is that when I was younger, some of my favorite books were the Goosebumps: Choose Your Own Adventure books. One page told you to skip to another page, and then go back to another page. However, when I was reading the Goosebumps books I would frequently peek at what was about to happen in both storylines, and choose which one I liked better. Also, most of the time I would go back and read all of the storylines.
The difference with Twelve Blue is that the electronic format gives so much more room for alternate characters and endings. At this point, to me, it becomes overwhelming. however, I am intrigued by this type of storytelling, and I want to learn more about it. I will definitely be reading more of these stories in the future.