Traces of memory

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Kirschenbaum 4

"has been exposed to a wide range of editorial interventions and authorial revisions in the oucrse of its relatively brief publishing" (161)

how ironic then, is it that Afternoon was meant to be a text that changes?

"But too often the reader comes upon a new hallway not previously explored or finds a previoudly locked door giving way to the touch" (165)

I know I've read books where the next time I read them, a statue or door comes through in the next that I didn't notice there before. Afternoon, it seems, makes use of all those objects that, on the first time through, you may think of as just background. (I am seriously resisting an urge to mention the room of requirement in HP).
If you pay close enough attention, you might have one of those "oh yeah" moments where you see how one little object or alteration can change the entire story, while at the same time keeing some of the origial elements. All those background characters you meet might somehow fit into the story; all characters in a story are there for a reason, and afternoon (by my understanding) more than makes use of the oppourtunity for intertwining stories.

"stacking cells inside other cells indicates hierarchical relationships, while drawing and labeling lines from one another indicates associate links. The author may then use the created structure to control or review the presentation of the text" (172)

So the author has control over how the reader reads his work. Maybe the links are arranged so that each time the reader plays, he will see more and more how connected these sidesteps are. The room or requirement in Harry Potter was mentioned in the first book, but didn't enter the storyline until the 5th book. But Rowling mentioned it for a reason, maybe meaning to let us wonder about it. My point is, everything that an author puts into the story, even the description of a plant, is significant and important. You just might not understand to what degree when reading traditional texts.

"But I swear to God it reads like an entirely different series of stories. It really jumps to life right now from the first foray into the text" (184)

This quote sums up my point about Joyce. One little tweak, and the entire story (or a person's perception of it) changes.

"additionally, users of Netscape Navigator should turn link underlining off" (193)
"the original...did not show it links" (193)

So maybe what Joyce meant by not underlining the links is that the author was meant to discover them on his own. The story progresses differently according to the reader's interest. someone who is not paying enough attention may not notice n unlocked door or an overturned pot.

"an electrnic document is literally created anew each time it is accesses, symbolically and procedurally reconstituted from the analog bit representations recorded by storage media" (203)

This quote reminds me of something we talked about in Form and Analysis while reading "The Empty Space". Brook argues that emotional memory is not a good tool to use for actors because there is really no original memory. There is no new process within the person, nothing created. We only remember what happened the last time we remembered. Each time, more and more of the origial fades. Our minds act like computers, reconstituting a "memory" from the representations (that is literally what they are) our brain has recorded. It has been proven that memory can be erased and surpressed, and can be recovered, just like recovering a document. This is actually one of the few things Brook said that actually made sense to me.

"date and time stamps that certify (to the second) the moment of the object's local creation, the last time it was modified and the last time it was accessed" (204)

And thank god this happens. have you ever gone to save a document and cannot find it again. I have saved countless papers in a pinch, and the default setting is always the first couple of wordse of the paper. Unfortunately, they are usually my name. I have about 10 documents under the same file name, but each one was created on a different date.





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1 Comments

Rachel Prichard said:

An author's control over how the reader reads his work. It is interesting to me that the small details used in this kind of fiction actually work the same in traditional fiction.

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