Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Working texts

I am enjoying* listening to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell on my iPod. I am noticing things I missed when I read it.

Books it reminds me of:

- House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski (1)
- Gaudete by Ted Hughes (2)
- Darkmans by Nicola Barker (3)
- Beyond Black by Hillary Mantel (4)

Footnotes

(1) 'In ergodic literature, non-trivial effort is required to allow the reader to traverse the text.'(5)
(2) "Gaudete tells the story of Reverend Lumb who is abducted by spirits into the underworld. His place on earth is taken by a double made of an oak log."
(3) 'The events are possibly being arranged by an evil spirit out of the past, “The Darkmans”, the revenant form of John Scogin, Edward IV’s court jester. Scogin’s favourite jest was to trick a group of beggars into entering a barn, then bolt the door and torch the place. Not exactly Ken Dodd, then.'
(4) "If, as a reader, you feel briskly and brightly that dead is dead, alive is alive, and anything else is nonsense, this novel is probably not for you."

(*)I am also enjoying thinking about casting it. My only absolute certainty is that the Faerie King must be played by Jude Law in a big white wig: his getting older merely fixes my opinion. I have always thought Ian Holm for Mr Norrell (but is he too old now?). I think David Threlfall could play Vinculus the tattooed blue vagabond magician, though on the audio he sounds more like Ade Edmondson. But it's all endlessly interesting.

(5)ergodic literature - that is a work which requires non-trivial effort from the reader:

Here for example is an online randomised version of Raymond Queneau’s Hundred Thousand Billion Poems (Cent mille milliards de poèmes) which is made of 10 sonnets, each cut up into 14 one-line strips which you can reassemble into 14^10 versions.

Other examples in the wikipedia article on ergodic literature include choose-you-own-adventure books, the I-Ching and the software program ELIZA.
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