Saturday, January 30, 2010

Go to Hell - with Dante

Want to create a course that might have students - especially male students - reading Dante's Inferno? Link it to a video game.

In the video game Dante is no longer a reedy, introspective poet but a knight who returns home from the Crusades to find that his beloved Beatrice has been brutally murdered. Her innocent soul has been taken captive by Lucifer, and Dante must chase the archfiend into hell, fending off wave after wave of advancing demons with a mighty scythe.

. . .

"A great intellectual property can live a second or third time in new media, because it gives you a head start."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Asemic Writing: Literary or Visual Art?

Recently there's been a bit of talk about asemic writing. What is it?
Asemic writing has been made by poets, writers, painters, calligraphers, children, and scribblers, all around the world. Most people make asemic writing at some time, possibly when testing a new pen.
So is it scribbling or doodling? Not when it's created intentionally - as art - instead of functionally, as when testing a new pen. If, instead of doodling images, we doodle mock-words or even word-like representations, are we practicing asemic writing?

Educators talk about children going through distinct stages of "mock letters", "pseudowriting" and so on, when they're learning to write. Many of us made asemic writing before we were able to write words.
When does asemic writing become art? When a writer creates it? Or when a visual artist like Paul Klee or Mark Tobey creates it?

Looking at asemic writing does something to us. Some examples have pictograms or ideograms, which suggest a meaning through their shape. Others take us for a ride along their curves. We like some, we dislike others.
Clearly we derive meaning from asemic writing. But do we read it the way we read poetry or prose? Or is it mis-named? Should it instead be called "asemic art"?