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2007 January archive at WRT: Writer Response Theory

Archive for January, 2007

Ben Franklin Bot


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(See video of chatbot Ben Franklin’s Ghost in action)
You walk up to the oversized book at the front of a curious glassed in stage, something of a cross between a puppet theater and a mausoleum. It’s the tricentennial of Ben Franklin’s birth and you haven’t seen any sign of him yet. On closer […]


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Literary hypertext is experiencing a renaissance. As part of a year-long series on this renaissance, I would like to offer several posts about recent works in the form. Part of the renaissance comes from time travel. Note: This post builds on the ideas introduced in Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan’s new collection Second Person.

Time travel is a favorite topic for science fiction lovers and loveable losers, the Marty McFly in all of us. (see this U Michigan course onThe Drs. Phebson time travel lit.) The topic seems particularly popular in time-based and time-fixed media such as film (see this film list, for example. However, time travel becomes more than just a plotline of regret in the world of hypertext because through this narrative device moving from time period to time period becomes a metaphor for moving from page to page on the web. Or perhaps, another way to say it, drawing from N. Katherine Hayles’ terminology, the internet becomes a material metaphor for time travel.


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At MLA 2007 in Philadelphia, John Cayley introduced the idea of an “ideal syntax,” the parole that adheres to the langue or the code that will compile. It is this “ideal syntax” that many codeworks are writing against, disrupting, challenging, and distorting. Therefore, by not compiling, codeworks may be fighting the protocols. In that spirit, I present a draft of a markup poem I’ve been working on in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

So as not to break our feed with this resistant code, I will post a link here to the current version. WRT: Are their other code-based tributes to MLK, a man who has been added to the Federal Google Calendar but cannot be so easily compiled or processed?

Snap Preview Art


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A new service that is spreading across cyberspace like wildfire (I’ve got it on my other blog!) is Snap Preview Anywhere. Created by IdeaLab (a company that just come up with ideas all day and implement them!), is a service that when a user hovers over a link, provides a preview of the target page. […]

Cheque Book Story


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I saw this months ago on MetaFilter but forgot to post about it. It is a story written by cheques. ‘Ordeal By Cheque’ by Walter Crue was tracked down in pdf form. I guess a contemporary version would be ‘Ordeal By ATM Receipt’.
Citation on pdf:
Crue, W. (1932 [renewed 1960, 1988]). Ordeal by Cheque. Vanity Fair. […]






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