A Contorted Labyrinth

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Shelley Jackson's "The Body" is an artistic construction of art and hypertext. Jackson writes her experiences and her interpretations of life through strategically placed links throughout the portrait and within the hypertext of each section. I feel that the art can be admired on so many levels:

  • the portrait itself

  • the color background of each link - why white? or black?

  • the placement of each link - why there?

  • the name of each link

  • the narratives chosen to be written

  • the tense/point of view of each paragraph

"I pictured the inside of my brain as something like a burrow, a labyrinthine system of contorted tunnels with hairpin turns. Ordinarily, the passages were roomy, pale and dry, like tunnels worm-bored through chalk or bone."

Through describing the brain, Jackson is able to corrolate to the object of her work. This definition, found by following a link on the "eye" page called insufficiently real, describes the innerworking confusion that goes on when the brain gets confused, somewhat like what goes on when reading this work. This description seemed to characterize what goes on in our brains when reading Jackson's work. It's like a "system of contorted tunnels with hairpin turns." Depending on which hyperlinks we click, we follow a set of contorted tunnels, and we make hairpin turns as we read. Which way should we go? Where do we turn? The second part of the quote, as well, can be read beyond what it's meaning. Ordinary writing is pale and dry, linear. Everything is structured, boring, and makes sense. This is something new. It asks you to step outside your pre-determination of what writing should be and to accept her way of writing. Also, after referencing the "worm-bored" tunnels, she sticks with this extended metaphor throughout the rest of the passage. Jackson does a very interesting thing here. It makes anyone who respects art stop and think about, and hopefully enjoy, her work.

EL236

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on October 6, 2008 6:46 AM.

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