Friday, February 11, 2011

Two interesting things involving physical manuscripts

The first is this retrograde-tech art project by Maria Fischer featuring "hyperlinked" text connected with pieces of thread.  Wow:

To ease the access to the elusive topic, the book is designed as a model of a dream about dreaming. Analogue to a dream, where pieces of reality are assembled to build a story, it brings different text excerpts together. They are connected by threads which tie in with certain key words. The threads visualise the confusion and fragileness of dreams. [...] On five pages there are illustrations made out of thread. Their shape and colour relies on the key words on the opposite page. This way an abstract image of the dream about dreaming is generated.

That one is via Engadget, now the top legible tech blog that a sane person can actually read, in the wake of the horrid Gawker redesign.  The second is this little piece by Andrew James Weatherhead at HTMLGiant about Emily Dickinson's dashes.  That debate seems to have been settled (dash inclusion good, dash elimination bad), but Weatherhead notes that the actual character of Dickinson's actual dashes is quite variable, and that even post-dashgate editions differ in how they treat the dashes.

"This is kind of interesting right?" he asks.  Yes, optional-bracketing-comma man, it is!


David-Glen Smith said...

This will help with my lectures in a few weeks. Thanks for posting it!

Hope said...

I kind of have to work on being open to these things. The dream book is cool as art, but I find even the descriptive text maddening. I got pissed at Italo Calvino's If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, though, so that's me.

Emily Dickinson was never one of my favorite poems, especially as a child. I think it had something to do with the dashes. I think I hear gasps when they show up; not sure why. It's probably utterly unfair to her.

One of my favorite physical "manuscripts" were done by this artist, I forget her name, but she would take vintage aprons and embroider recipes on them -- brutal-sounding old-school recipes for such items as turtle soup, where you start with killing the turtle and hacking it apart.