First blog post

Blog #1: Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky

I’ve chosen to write about ‘Like Stars in a Clear Night Sky’ for my first blog in Electronic Literature. Although I looked through all the three recommended pieces of electronic literature, this one was the only one that really stood out to me.

You are completely free to choose how to navigate this piece, as it is a compilation of various short stories which, to me at least, didn’t immediately relate to each other. Instead this piece comes off as simply different works that make up the stories that makes up a person—or possibly multiple people. The freedom in choosing where to go in Clear Night Sky was similar to some of the other works we’ve already looked at earlier, such as 12 Blue for instance. Simply go wherever you please and start exploring.

“Shall I tell you about the boy that dreams the world” was the title of the first option that caught my interest, without knowing anything about what I was about to click, I choose the most intriguing title. The piece presents itself very neatly and organized, and the only real interactive part that follows once we enter this link is the option to scroll down or up again. Nothing mind-blowing, but that’s probably not what this piece is going for either. There’s a feeling of serenity to this piece, so it follows if this is supposed to be laidback and not revolutionary in the community of electronic literature—less is more here, in a sense, because more would ruin the pace and the overarching theme.

A somewhat clever and cute touch to this piece is that the unique blue stars on the night sky—that serves as the hyperlinks used to navigate between the work—happen to change locations on the night sky whenever you start the electronic literature over again. It’s not a consequential part of the piece, just a nice touch.

Visually these short stories are structured as poems or rhymes, but to my knowledge they are simply short stories that as delivered as narrations from a third party. We’re told the stories as if from an old grandparent-figure that’s entertaining their grandchildren with various stories that they’ve accumulated over the years. The stories as read as simple texts, no real flexing of eloquence or prowess, simply just short and nice stories.

The themes within the short stories themselves vary greatly from each other, but with the overarching motif of space, stars, and vastness—I think we are supposed to take from the motifs a feeling of greatness and unite, in the same sense that these stories are different from each other, they are all still part of a greater picture.

The music is very soothing and strikes me as trying to make the reader relaxed and tranquil. There’s a great deal of soft chimes, or windchimes, accompanied by the occasional chirping of birds, which culminates in therapeutic music that lends itself to the relaxed feel of the texts.

Finishing reading through the different pieces makes you think that this is the re-telling of a person’s most defining moments in life—the ones that shaped him. It makes me sort of think of this piece as a very graphically enhanced biography—sort of, in a weird way.

That’s it for me now, looking forward to blogpost #2.

—Robert

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