[-empyre-] Layers in Books and Hypertextual Objects


sorry for moving your comment on layers to a different thread, but I
think this is an interesting and autonomous topic.

A good starting point to think about layers is Jim Rosenberg´s
"Diffractions Through"
(http://www.well.com/user/jer/diff_through/diff_through.html). I am
fascinated by how this work moved away from the reticular hypertextual
model that was predominant for a while.

The "New Media Poetry" issue of Visible Language I mentioned on an
earlier post has an article where Rosenberg explain his work,
introducing the concept of intergrams as a consequence of the printed
diagrams he had previously "executed" on paper. I would go a step
beyond, and sustain that using layers is more than exploring
diagramatic thinking.

One of the earlier Freudian descriptions of the mind — from the book
"Civilization and its Discontents", if I am remembering correctly —
accounts on an structure of multiple layers in wich spatial proximity
does not imply chronologic proximity. Freud compares the human mind to
the undergound of an ancient city, such as Rome: in Rome´s undergound,
the modern telephone cables can be side by side (that is, on the same
layer) with fragments of ancient clay, for example; the same way, on
human mind, today´s frustation at work can be side by side with a
childhood reminiscence.

So, understanding how layering builds meaning — transversal meaning —
could make the idea of moving thoughts from A <--->B (not only mind to
mind, as I proposed at my very first post, but also from sign to sign)
feasible. Probably cinema is closer to undersanding how to make sense
out of layering, for example in Eisenteinean montage or in Godard´s
essaistic sequences.

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