Blog Post #9

Jose Aburto is his work “Paranoid Rainbow” is attempting to reveal a bit of his past. He is describing the house that he grew up in and how although it meant so much to him at one point, it doesn’t have the same meaning to the people that live there now. In his first line, I am very confused about what he’s talking about when he says “I tried to cover the Spring with a finger.” He then says “And I smiled idiotically” which could reveal to us that he was smiling at something and he wasn’t completely sure why that was his reaction, rather it was just a normal human reaction that he had under specific circumstances. He also says “Not being able to remember the usual, because the time had come to rebuild, to revive, to go back to”, which means that there is a shift in the poem and something is about to happen. By using the phrase “the time had come” we can infer that this is the climax of the poem, and nothing will be the same after this. There is a transition here. He then looks around and doesn’t recognize the place that he is now standing in. “And not to recognize as one’s own/To realize that one doesn’t own.” He realizes that he no longer stands in a place that is hi, yet it was at one time his home. He then goes on to describe some of his memories from when he lived in the home, so that his reader may realize how significant his childhood home was not only to him, but to other members of his family. He tried to close the window, “But it was late, or rather/ It was still too early.” If he had just ended with the line “But it was late” we could infer that this memory was too painful for him to bring up and it was too late for him to “close the window” on it and not think about it. But since he ended the poem with the line “It was still too early” we can know that he still needs time to heal before he can think about his childhood home as he is not ready to bring up the memories and emotions that still haunt him when he thinks about this place.Through the writing of this poem, Aburto is able to reveal who he is as person as well as reveal how his past still affects him today, hopefully inviting readers to realize that the way that they feel about their own past is okay and acceptable.



Aburto, Jose, Paranoid Rainbow 


Blog Post #8

The entire novel The Circle revolves around the idea that we should strive to be a certain utopia or reach a level of perfection. When I was growing up my favorite thing to do was jump on hay bales with my best friend at my dad’s farm and walk through the woods to find a creek. And then when I was in middle school, I felt left out because I didn’t know how social media worked (nor did my mom let me use any type). And I’m so grateful now that I didn’t. Even now, I know I care way too much about social media. And that raises the question of why do I care so much? Because I want people to accept me. To maybe even be jealous of what I do, and that’s no way to live.


In the passage “’It’s not that I’m not social. I’m social enough. But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs. No one needs the level of contact you’re purveying. It improves nothing. It’s not nourishing. It’s like snack food…endless empty calories, but the digital-social equivalent’”(133-134). This quote hits the nail on the head regarding what is wrong with the society in this book. Humans don’t need constant interaction with one another. Yes we do need some, but it should be through human contact, not contact through a screen. It often times will give people this idea that we are someone that we aren’t and we should always live our lives as being 100% of our true selves.


I talked about the issue of public vs private last week and used the third quote. We could see that Mae was living a normal life at that point in a world of her own, yet still was connected to the natural world. We too much today try to exist in a world that doesn’t matter. No one talks about or uses MySpace anymore, so these other fads will pass. The quote from pages 133-134 explicitly states the problem with the minds of the people in the Circle and how they are missing a crucial piece of what it means to be human: to have human emotions and to have them in private. We need to be able to connect with other people in person by knowing who we are, not by just associating with other people and hoping that they will accept us because we have a few of the same interests over a screen.


When we first sat down in this class and we were told to make a blog, I was pretty curious. I never had a blog before and I always associated bloggers with people that felt they needed to have their feelings validated by others online. Then I understood why we would make one since we were learning about technology and literature so it all made sense. And yet the purpose of this blog is so that we can criticize what one another has to say. Yes that can be good because we can learn from what others have to say. Yet somehow we gain a sense of dependency on whether or not people choose to comment on our blogs and we have an emotional dependency upon it. Of course I don’t sit around all week and wonder oh no, no one is writing on my blog they must hate me and bite my nails. Of course not, because I honestly couldn’t care less. Yet some people find validation for their existence through what others say online, and this is not a good way to live. You need to know your self-worth does not reside in the things people say online, rather whether or not you live your life to the fullest.



Eggers, Dave. The Circle: A Novel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. Print

Blog Post #7

After reading the passage in The Circle that we had to, I can tell that our society is aiming for this type of “utopia” that is the Circle, and I can tell you that I want nothing to do with it. Perhaps the biggest issue in the novel for me, so far, is the loss of a meaningful distinction between public and private whether it be information or just how you live your life. The purpose of the cameras in the novel would be to help people to not commit crimes that they otherwise would if they knew no one was watching. The purpose would to embed a sense of morality in people, yet we know that we have no idea where our sense of morality comes from. Rather, the cameras will just allow everyone to know your business and you will never be able to do anything alone ever again, without thousands of people knowing.


The quote that I want to discuss is #3. When I was reading this section, it was probably the only part of the novel that I could even begin to relate to. I personally love kayaking and seeing all of the wildlife that you could on an outing like the one that she took would be amazing. She is by herself and it is the only time so far in the novel that she has cried. This is crucial because it shows that she has feelings and emotions, yet they are supressed within the circle. The people within the circle, don’t really have emotions, or at least that are not allowed to show them unless they are justifiable. Eggers says “…and she would wonder if the seal knew, as she did, how good this was, how lucky they were to have all this to themselves”(83). In that moment outside of the circle, she knows how important it is to have time by herself and not constantly be involved with other people. I had a teacher once who told us that humans need silence at times, so that they can cope with the rest of the world, and I 100% agree. This novel only further proves this idea. Once we lose our privacy, we begin to lose sight of who we are. We will only be around other people all of the time, and shape ourselves to be the people they want us to be. By having our privacy, we can be who we are intended to be just for ourselves, and not for the entire world to see. And if they do, it should be for all of the right reasons; not for all of the wrong ones.



Eggers, Dave. The Circle: A Novel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013. Print.

Paper #2

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”

-Edgar Degas


Art begins and ends in different ways for each person. Depending upon their own life story, everyone sees something in their own perspective based upon their own experiences. Every artist sets out with some type of expectation for their work, yet they have no control over how their audience will perceive it. In My Body- a Wunderkammer, Shelley Jackson provides us with an electronic text where we decide where the work begins and ends and whether or not we learn to appreciate our bodies based upon our own experiences and she leaves it up to us to interpret the work as we wish. Jackson uses art as a motif in her work, which allows us to conclude that our bodies are works of art and that each part of our bodies are connected to another part just as each hyperlink is connected to another topic in her text. We can see how the text recalls events that happened which changed Jackson and this parallels the idea that her text can change us in the hopes that we may realize how special and intricate our bodies and the idea that our experiences in life help to make us who we are.

Our Journey:

Title/Launch Page < Body < Neck < Nose < Feet < Other Bodies < Skin < Tattoos < Skin

When we being our journey through this electronic text, I began by clicking on the neck. Here is the first time that we subconsciously see Jackson compare her body to the work of an artist. She speaks of her own art that she made as a child. “In my earliest drawings there are no necks. Then there are necks, but they are too skinny: the phrase nswan-like neck had entered my consciousness and done a violence to my ideas about the body” (Neck). The idea of transformation is also relevant here, as we can see how her drawings have changed, as she has grown older as well as the way that she sees her own art.

By clicking on “coveys of princesses” we are taken to the segment of the text that hones in on Jackson’s nose. Even in the first paragraph alone, she is able to provide us with astounding imagery, which almost lets us exist in the setting that she was in when the event that has stuck with her over time happened. “Things I can do with my nose: I can wrinkle it in distaste… I can nuzzle things softly. I can blow streams of bubbles underwater. I can make a loud reproachful sound, like a krummhorn” (Nose). She describes almost all of her senses in just a few sentences, painting us a picture of the event, and again reminding us of art.

The subject of feet is somehow connected with the words “blow streams of bubbles underwater”. This next section describes Jackson’s experience in a pool and we can see here how one small event that most wouldn’t think of changed her. “One summer I got swim goggles for the first time and became a lurker under surfaces, a spy in the underwaterworld”(Feet). This entire text focuses on how Jackson grew up and learned to appreciate her body for what it was and how special it is. All of the smaller segments of text within the writing focus on her smaller transformations and how they ultimately led her to her even bigger transformation of coming to know herself better through knowing her body.

Clicking on “one summer I got swim goggles” leads us to “other bodies”. Jackson focuses on how she sees the world through her own eyes and how she sees other people. She was able to view other’s bodies and either hated people or just coexisted with them based upon how they would look. In the end of this section, she highlights how she sees her own body as invisible and couldn’t really form an opinion on it. I believe that this is a feeling that many of us have, because we are unable to see our entire bodies as others do. She closes this part of the text with “My body was the engine that propelled a pair of eyes through the world” (other bodies), which is actually one of the most inspiring body-positive things that I’ve ever heard. She compares her body to a machine in the sense that it “propels her eyes” forward and Jackson realizes how important her body’s function is in this. While she is judging people on how they look earlier in the reading, she is now, at the end realizing the true functions of her body and yet again, we see a transformation take place. She reminds us that how we may look at one thing in the beginning may completely change by the end of it and the theme of transformation is ever present.

By clicking on “tanning” we are taken to the section on skin, and it’s pretty easy to see the connection between the two. There are other sections, where realizing the connections between a specific topic and a word or sets of words on a previous page is quite difficult, yet other times it’s plain to see the connection. She speaks of a time when she noticed how static electricity would affect the hair on her arm when she placed it near a plastic chair in school. She is able to see a cause and effect relationship here, and it fascinates her. She witnesses the control that she has on her body at a young age and plans to use it to her advantage when she gets older.

At the end of “skin” I clicked on the “&”. This led us to the section on tattoos. Obviously, this section recalls a time much later in life than the other sections. “I am virtually covered in tattoos. I teach my lovers to read them but they are otherwise entirely private, except when I get a sunburn and parts of them show up as pale swirls in the red”(tattoos). We can decipher that she is an introvert from this. Her tattoos were done in ink that was the same color as her skin, so no one would know that they were there. Usually most people want others to see their tattoos and get them done in the first place so that others would ask them about them. Jackson has a different story: the tattoos are always there, yet only certain people can see them. And the beautiful thing is that Jackson can choose exactly who she wants to see him, further showing that she wants to have control over how people see her.

By clicking on the only available hyperlink “a black ampersand” we are taken back to the page labeled “skin.” This is where I have decided that our journey will end because it’s my decision where to begin and end in a text like this. Jackson gave us her story about how she learned to appreciate her body, and it was up to us where we would start and finish: she can’t influence it. Like art, the artist will present their audience with everything they’ve got, and it’s up to the audience to make the next move. Will that art change the way that they look at things? The artist may hope so. Yet, we can never truly know the goal of the artist and we can never truly predict the audience’s interpretation of the art. This could be a metaphor on living life. Jackson has taught us how she has come to accept and appreciate her body for what it is and we are called to do the same thing, yet it is up to us what our next move is. Not only are we learning how to appreciate ourselves, but she is reminding us that we are in control of our lives.



Jackson, Shelley. “My Body —a Wunderkammer.” My Body — a Wunderkammer. Electronic Literature Collection, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.

Blog Post #6

The passage that I have chosen to write about this week is when Theseus talks to Hippolyta about the nature of lovers in the beginning of Act 5 Scene 1. The couple are discussing the events that had occurred during the previous night amongst the members of the love quadrangle. Theseus says “I never may believe these antique fables nor these fairy toys”(5.1.2-3). It is ironic how he claims that he will never believe their stories because they are seemingly from a fairytale, yet A Midsummer’s Night Dream could be considered to be a fairytale, because some of the main characters are fairies. He also says “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are of imagination all compact”(5.1.7-8). Shakespeare himself is a poet, so here he is alluding to the idea that some people might see him as being mad. “The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing”(5.1.16-17) which is basically saying that poets are making up things that don’t exist in their writing. Yet, isn’t that true of most writers? Shakespeare really has a way of revealing how he feels about his own vocation in this section of the play. He discourses his readers of how he believes others see his profession as well as an explanation for why he is the way that he is. He claims that a writer such as him must have a great imagination to create the things that they do and the importance of how one can seemingly escape from mundane reality through their writing.


“A Midsummer’s Night Dream” Shakespeare

Blog Post #5

“Stir Fry Texts” was the first piece I read for this week, and left me completely frustrated. I’m not really sure of how to ever read any pieces of electronic literature and this one was quite difficult. Every time I moved my mouse, the words would change and that was really hard for me to get used to. Then, the words would “glitch” on the screen and I thought something was wrong with my computer. I stayed with the text for a while, until I couldn’t really take it anymore.

I then read “White-Faced Bromeliads on 20 Hectares” which I really enjoyed. I could read each stanza of the poem before it would change. However, I was too focused on making a correlation between the changes in each stanza, that I really forgot to read/looking into the meaning of each part. The whole poem was pretty confusing and I’m still not 100% sure of what the poem was about, but I really enjoyed it.

“Slippingglimpse” was another good read. I first clicked on the picture of water, and it took me into a page with moving water. I couldn’t really make out the words on the screen, except for “family” and “waitingbut I hit the “scroll text” option at the bottom, which helped me to get a better understanding of what was going on. You could make the words either move forwards or backwards like they do on a credit screen. Perhaps the words had a different meaning depending upon how you made them roll? I only clicked through a few of the pictures and each one seemingly told a different story.

“Window” was pretty much just a bust for me. I couldn’t get the text to load at all, so I just ended up reading the essay for it.



Blog Post #4

Print literature is what it is and is given to you at face value. All of the words are presented to you at once, and you, as the reader, decide where you begin and end your reading by picking specific pages. With the rise of electronic literature, print has somewhat gone to the wayside. When you read print, you come to the table with expectations of how if will affect you. It appeals to several of your senses. For one, you can feel the pages in your hands. You see the words on the paper. You can also smell the paper and the book itself. You can hear the pages crinkle when you turn them. These are things that you know will happen and they resonate with you each time that you crack open a book.


With electronic literature, not as many of your senses are involved. Sure you can see the words, yet you cannot feel the pages themselves. Rather you feel the device that you are reading off of. Many authors will have music play along with their writings, as we see in “Faith” by Robert Kendall. His kinetic poem has words dance across the screen. Each time you click on the arrow at the bottom of the page, new words show up in different colors, and our brains register the changes in the literature as you progress through it. Certain words may stick out to you because of the colors used, and the colors may cause your mind to associate a certain feeling with what you are reading. At the end of the poem, all of the words fall to the bottom of the page into a pile and you can only read the word “faith” because of its size and its font. Perhaps, this happens so that we realize that we will always be able to identify our faith in the midst of everything that goes wrong in the world.

When people sit down to read print, they can pretty much expect their experience to be the same every time: nothing really jumps out at them and they interpret the reading as the author had planned for them to. With electronic literature, the reading is much more open to interpretation based upon what stands out to you. Perhaps it’s because of the way that the text is delivered, that it resonates with you. While print has been king up until this point, more and more electronic literature is being created and the growth from here on out will only be exponential for it. Electronic literature does alter the expectations you have for print, because now you expect to get more out of print as you do with electronic literature.

Blog Post #3: Legs

“When nobody else was around or willing to sit still for me, I drew whatever I could see of myself: my feet, for example; my legs. What my eyes showed me, though, looked very strange on paper. My dinky, knobbly feet were hitched to spindly ankles that swelled like a bellows to the knee, then widened even further to my thighs. My massive, conical thighs were like two funnels jammed to the bottom of a grain hopper, which was my squarish torso, big as a house. I was a funky headless homunculus with linebacker shoulders and Tinkerbell toes. It was the truth (from my perspective), but what use was it to art? In my renderings of all-I-could-see, I had better leave myself out, or regard myself in a mirror, at a safe distance. Look too closely, I noted, and you will see monsters. Realism, and possibly reality itself, is reticence and fudging it.


I was a scholar of legs, carrying on my investigations down on the bricks or flagstones, among the grown-ups’ feet. Here I am with my jacks, my tops, my patterns in the dirt. Around me are the tree-trunks of legs, with their tropical growths, the parasitic vines of their varicose veins, the gorgeous locoweed of burst blood vessels. The wild hairs standing off the stretched, dessicated skin, or the coarse black stubble, hard as jet. My grandfather’s knobbly knees were crude and overlarge, like the club of a cartoon caveman. Feet were battered arcane shapes, polished in places to patent leather.


I looked at my own body: flesh still growing is almost spirit, it clasps the bone, doesn’t hang from it, you hardly recognize it as a substance. Grown-up flesh has more and more in common with sand, bark, old canvas, rust and mud. We resemble inanimate things more and more, until one day we become one. But at the time, casting judgement with my jacks, I wondered why they had let themselves come to such a pass. Flesh was thought, corrupt thought corrupted flesh, but will could strain and clarify both thought and flesh. That was my despotic fantasy. At what point did their attention lapse? I wouldn’t let that happen to me.”


Shelley Jackson’s, “My Body a Wunderkammer” overall made me very uncomfortable when I read it. There were intimate details that she shared about her body that no one ever really should write about, let alone publish, yet she did. And there is a reason for her writing it as well as a reason for it being published. Perhaps talking about the human body as more of a treasure trove than what it actually is, helped her to find peace with who she is.

In the passage above Jackson says “Look too closely, I noted, and you will see monsters”(legs) when she was referring to looking at herself in the mirror. Usually when someone looks in the mirror, they see themselves and not “monsters”. Her saying this showed that she was obviously uncomfortable with the way that he body looked and didn’t want to “get too close” to see the flaws that were there. By standing away from the mirror, you won’t be able to see the flaws and you won’t dwell on your imperfections because as that saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind”.

 In her writing, Jackson takes a part her body, piece by piece and analyzes it. By doing so, she talks about each piece and a memory that goes along with it and finds a sense of beauty in it. While she may be uncomfortable by her body as a whole, she realizes that each part makes her who she is and she finds comfort in this. This writing may not have been written for a certain audience to learn to know their body, rather it was for Jackson herself to come to terms with her body. Or I may be completely wrong, and it was for all of her readers to have peace with their bodies.


Jackson, Shelley; My Body a Wunderkammer

Paper 1: Identity and Technology

Identity and Technology

“The future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed.”

-William Gibson

Novels such as 1984 and Neuromancer paved the way that man looks at the future, and now it’s upon us. George Orwell and William Gibson laid out their visions of the future in the writings from the 1980’s. Yet, thirty-five years later most people don’t see the world as being the way that they had predicted it to be. Yet, subconsciously you can read into the parallels between such novels and the world in which we live at present. In Neuromancer by William Gibson, we see how one man’s sense of identity, in accordance with the technology present in the novel, not only changes how he looks at the world around him, but also changes the way that we, as the reader, see how technology has shaped our own lives and the way that we live.

Identities are constructed by social, economic, and gendered contexts of the world, and therefore are all made up. Identities change according to how the majority of a society feels and so, identities are subjective rather than objective. We can see today on the news, in headlines, and even with some of our friends how they can change “who they are”. By identifying yourself with a certain group, you are in a way labeling yourself, although people try to stay away from “labeling” one another as much as possible. Identities change and evolve, just as technology does. Technology is defined as being “the use of science in industry, engineering, etc. to invent useful things or solve problems”.[1] In Neuromancer, characters identify themselves according to the technology that is present in their lives. In many cases, they have body parts that are made from technology not available to us now and that allows them to identify them.

When we meet our protagonist Case, he is wandering aimlessly through life and consequently being in a substantial amount of debt, which only adds to him having a poor self-image of himself. He had had the life at one time, spending his younger years doing what he loved: being a computer hacker. Once he messed up at his job, and not only got fired, but also has had his central nervous system damaged. Here is a perfect example of how the characters do not have control over their own bodies. Rather those that they work for control what they do, and they lose who they are because of this. We can also see that in today’s world we often have to choose between work or school and doing something that we love or spending time with our families. Here without even realizing it, we can see that our jobs are beginning to control our actions and lives. Without his job to keep him going, his life begins to fall in a downward spiral, and he knows this. He’s depressed because he no longer has the passion in his life that he once had and because of this, loses who he once was.

When Case comes across another character in the book, he is slightly scared of her yet also is infatuated by her at the same time. Molly is her name, and she has technological modifications on her body, which has a major impact on the opinions he has of her. “She held out her hands, palms up, the white fingers slightly spread and with a barely audible click, ten double-edged, four centimeter scalpel blades slid from their housings beneath the burgundy nails. She smiled. The blades slowly withdrew”(26).[2] Gibson’s diction here shows how Case feels threatened as well as enamored by Molly, and I’m sure the reader may feel the same way at the sight of these words. The modifications on her body may seem rather drastic, yet when you think about it people have been modifying their bodies for centuries. Piercings and forms of tattoos have been around as long as man has and today we see that people are modifying their bodies so that they may change their gender. Technology allows surgeries which allow this to happen, and only when we take time to think about what this truly means, do we realize that when we do these things to our bodies we are searching to fit an identity which fills a void that is otherwise empty without the modification, just as Molly felt before she had her modifications take place.

The world that we live in now would be considered to be “pre-cyberspace” while Neuromancer is set during cyberspace. We know that technology is on its way to getting us to that point, yet even now our dependence upon technology is extravagant. In Neuromancer, Case can easily travel from one place to another in seemingly the blink of an eye. Because of this, one could argue that the characters in the book have no sense of time. They can get around so fast and don’t waste the time that it would otherwise take to travel. Time is of no importance to them and therefore things that we treasure now, have very little value. They can also so easily fix what’s wrong with their “broken” bodies, so they have no real reason to take care of their physical form. When we no longer care about taking care of ourselves, we begin to lose what it means to be human. There is no real mention about family in this novel, but only when one family member kills another. That in of itself is a scary thought, which would warn us to take caution when it comes to how much we depend upon technology in our daily lives.

The future is here and there’s no escaping it. We are just being pushed farther and farther into a world completely dependent on technology, and we crave it. Gibson gives us a sneak peak into a world we are seemingly destined for, and it looks pretty bleak. The characters are not even what you would call “human” or at least in our definition of the word, yet they still seek out an identity that they can call their own. The importance of identity is rampant in the world we live in, as well as the world we are destined to live in, proving how important it is. Neuromancer provides us with a scenario where one who is lost searches for their identity, and in finding it, they help to find themselves, and we can all relate to this notion today.


[1] Merriam-Webster dictionary

[2] Gibson, Neuromancer, 26

Works Cited:

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016


Blog Post #2

Reading “Mythinformation somewhat helped me to understand Neuromancer just a bit more. “Mythinformation” by Langdon Winner, attempts to describe how a revolution can change anything, and that we are seemingly on the cusp of a technological revolution, if we are not already partaking in one. Winner highlights that “long lists of specific services spell out the utopian promise of this new age: interactive television, electronic funds transfer, computer-aided instruction… All of it is supposed to add up to a cultural renaissance”(Winner 103). These things that he lists that would be a part of this new age, are already prevalent in our daily lives today.

Winner also says that “Computer-based communications can be used to make human lives richer and freer, by enabling persons to have access to vast stores of information, other ‘human resources’ and opportunities for work and socializing on a more flexible, cheaper and convenient basis than ever before”(Winner 104). While this seemingly may be true, it would not appear that way in Neuromancer. The characters have instant access to information that would be considered to be “on-line” I guess; yet this accessibility truly limits them. Other characters can take them over and use them to their advantage, so this “freedom” actually just limits them. We can even see that in our daily lives. We have instant access to any information that could be found online. We no longer have to visit the library for anything. Because of this, we are not limited, but are rather captives to our phones and other technological devise. I know there are days when I cant go 20 minutes without checking my phone, and I’m ashamed of that. We expect to have our Internet access all the time, and really for free. The other day when the Wi-Fi went out, it was all anyone could talk about. And really it’s somewhat sad to hear so many people complain about it as much as they did, when there are so many other issues in the world.


Winner, Langdon. Mythinformation. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 98-117. Print.

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.