Monday, June 27, 2005

He do the Police in Different Voices

Spent much of the last week immersed in Eliot (and in the Harold Bloom-edited anthology of exegeses of same). This morning discovered this, for which I've been waiting all these years without realizing—The Waste Land online.

This is hypertext in its purest form, giving us a new spatial model for exploring a work; where we usually think of a poem like The Waste Land in terms of "layers" or "levels" of meaning (i.e., in three dimensions), hypertext—with its use of frames and panes—effectively flattens our perspective, allowing us to look at all levels simultaneously. The effect is something that looks like Mondrian and functions like cubism—an every-angle-at-once perspective, planes intersecting askew, the reader outside and taking it all in. It's like a moment in a Grant Morrison comic when a character steps out between the panels. I've seen it done before, for other works, but never as well as it's done there.

Plus they've got a theory about Madame Sosostris that I'd never heard before, and which I find pretty goddam funny.

No comments: