This is the first blogpost in a while, i have been off from school, and I kind of dint think I would be using this blog for a while. But now I am taking a class in Electronic literature and we are going to blog about the works we are looking at for class, so here goes!
Soliloquy is a work by Kenneth Goldsmith, where he recorded every work he said for a whole ween, in 1996. The work itself is presented in the days Monday through Sunday, then split into 10 parts, probably to make it more manageable. The chunks of text or lexias, are hidden unless you hover over them with your cursor, all except the first lexia on each page. The lexias can be just one word, or up to about two sentences.
There is an exception, on page 2 on Monday the line “This is really cool.” Is shown in addition to the first line. After checking the code, I found that it is a code error, and most probably not intended to be shown. If it was intentional it would probably not have been done by code error, but intentional in the code.
Back to Soliloquy
Now in the electronic literature class we have been talking about how we read electronic literature, what strategies we use. The first time saw that the text appeared when I hovered over it with the cursor I immediately tried to select all (CTRL=A), it worked and I could read all the text on that page, I read almost a full page like this. Then I thought that this was a terrible way to read the work, first, if that was the intended way to read it, why hide all the text? And secondly it was way too much text, there is seven days with ten pages each. Thirdly, when all the text was visible, the individual lexias all became jumbled into one big one.
So, I decided to not select all, instead just to mark random lexias, and see if any of them took my interest, and the work became much more enjoyable.
That’s how I read, now for what I read.
The work, as I stated above. It’s a record off all the things Kenneth Goldsmith said for a whole week. In my random look at the days I found a bit about porn that I thought was funny, also he mentioned using Internet explorer, and explaining how to search to someone. That was funny to me, but in general I found the work to be much more enjoyable when I was just randomly looking through it, and not reading everything.
I spent some time just trying to find a theme, first I was looking for a theme for the whole thing, then I looked for themes for the days, but I ended up thinking that there is no “theme”, in the sense that there is no real purpose to the work, no end goal, but that’s not a bad thing is it?
It seems to me that randomly looking at things a person says during a week is much like meeting that person, unless you spend every waking moment with that person you can’t know all the things they say, you will only hear somethings, and if you’re lucky, you’ll hear the interesting things.
That is what I came out of this piece thinking, all in all, it was quite enjoyable to look at.