Hi! My name is Danielle Berkow. I am a third year English and Sociology major at the University of Florida.
Welcome to my blog on “Memos for an E-Literature.” This blog is the result of my personal efforts in reading, writing, discussing, organizing, and creating within the realm of E-Literature. It is my semester-long, two part project for Professor Ulmer’s class called Internet Literature, an upper-level English course that explores the new generation and new face of literature.
You will find memos on the five qualities that Italo Calvino spelled out in his book Six Memos for the Next Millenium. These qualities are exactitude, lightness, multiplicity, quickness, and visibility.
In my memos, I expand on Calvino’s work, relating his ideas to the world of E-Literature and my personal taste, something discussed in the Aesthetic section of my blog. In my Memos section you will find an outline of the process of constructing a project like this one.You will also find references in my memos to Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips as I strive to explain the aesthetic qualities of the E-literature pieces I chose to explore. Graphic Design: The New Basics will give me the vocabulary necessary to articulate what, visually, I am seeing on the screen, which will help me explain how the E-literature works achieve their effects.
For the second half of my blog, I examine the way the qualities of exact, light, multiple, quick and visible emerge in just a single text: my tutor text, Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen. By focusing on one text, I can better understand how all of Calvino’s qualities come to life in order to help Kaysen tell her poignant story. I will also use Linda Seger’s book The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact and Fiction into Film to help identify different aspects of storytelling in my tutor text that will allow me to adapt the story into something else.
That ‘something else’ is a collage for each of Calvino’s qualities representing one specific aspect found in the novel. One collage focuses on characters, one focuses on theme, another on plot, another on setting, and another on drama. These collages will be called “bloxes” because they follow the processes that artist Joseph Cornell used to create his famous boxes. Lindsay Blair wrote about Cornell’s artistic methods in Joseph Cornell’s Vision of Spiritual Order.
Following Cornell’s instructions, I hope to portray my interpretation of Calvino’s qualities, Seger’s adaptations, and my tutor text’s story in my blog’s bog (BLOX) for each quality. Hopefully the essence of each of Calvino’s five qualities will come across visually, anchored in one of Seger’s elements of storytelling for each, through the lense of Kaysen’s incredible novel.