6 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2019
    1. David Jauss. Alone With All That Could Happen: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom about the Craft of Fiction. Writer's Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1st edition edition, July 2008.

      The chapter "Stacking Stones" describes the various techniques and effects that can be created by authors of short story collections. Put simply, Jauss argues that we ought to read story collections as collections, in the order in which they appear. The argument is based on a series of "unifying principles" and "structural techniques" that stitch collections together. The most important two, in my view, are the "liaison" — or, a motif that speaks across stories — and "mimesis" — the interaction in a collection between form and meaning. Jauss holds The Things They Carried as an exemplar of mimesis.

      This text is useful in thinking about collections, but it is also useful for teaching new literary readers about how to approach collections. The instinct is to fragment the collection into digestible chunks — i.e. the stories as individual texts — rather than reckon with them en masse.

    2. Tim O'Brien. The Things They Carried. Mariner Books, 2009.

      "Happening truth" vs. "story truth".

      Compare this discussion of truth with a similar discussion in a very different context: Ken Macrorie's Telling Writing.

  2. May 2019
    1. Procedural Rhetoric. Bogost, I. In Persuasive games: the expressive power of videogames, pages 1–64. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2007.

      "...the rhetoric of failure. Tragedy in games tends to find its procedural representation in this trope." (85)

      "Political video games in the sense I have articulated above are characterized by procedural rhetorics that expose the logic of a political order, thereby opening a possibility for its support, interrogation, or disruption. Procedural rhetorics articulate the way political structures organize their daily practice; they describe the way a system “thinks” before it thinks about anything in particular." (90)

      In thinking through This War of Mine, I'm interested in the notion that the game is designed to thwart winning, and indeed every choice the player makes bring them closer to survival or to morally bankrupt behavior or both. In many moments of the game's narrative, there are no good choices. In some play-throughs I have felt better allowing my characters to die than I have with exercising the power at my disposal, e.g. killing and robbing the old couple. And in a strange way, my characters seem to feel more comfortable with that choice, too. TWoM seems to fall somewhere in between Kabul Kaboom and traditional winnable games.

    1. The relations between reader/story and player/game are completely different - the player inhabits a twilight zone where he/she is both an empirical subject outside the game and undertakes a role inside the game.

      Question this: can't a reader also insert herself into a narrative, through an empathetic impulse? What about second person literature (Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck), including choose your own adventure books, which function as games? The process of identifying with a character is a process of insertion.