damned EZ cheese

Each installation within The Mandrake Vehicles has a similar feel and setup, and I’m able to anticipate the next page. I don’t focus so intently on the words, but I admire them and their odd relation to those beside them, concerned more with appreciating the aesthetics than attempting to find an overall meaning. It feels like a motion picture as the words drip and drop down the ‘window’ and the colors fade throughout the three installations from green to gold to a bright, bold yellow to orange and red. There’s a sense of comfort in being able to make some sense of the piece when the letters clamber together and piece together some type of fragment. The “poems” on the 7th page for each are elegantly worded and even chilling. I read some pieces aloud, and I’m moved by the way the words sound together. “Help ease us: deaf, ceded from earth, belted, wanted dead. Open us—“ “Abattoir: red loop-hole.” “Ruses lower truant ogres.” There’s a magical quality to The Mandrake Vehicles. If you’re a Harry Potter enthusiast like me, you might’ve immediately thought of the mandrakes’ screeching “deadly” noises as they’re yanked from their pots in the Herbology class. The definition of ‘mandrake’ that I found defines it as a “Mediterranean plant of the nightshade family, with white or purple flowers and large yellow berries. It has a forked fleshy root that supposedly resembles the human form and was formerly widely used in medicine and magic, allegedly shrieking when pulled from the ground.” I just thought it was interesting to consider alongside the piece.


Including the word ‘unknown’ within the title of the second hypertext made me smile, because it’s almost as if they’re already hinting at what’s to come. I’ve been given a map, or so it seems, and I don’t quite understand how to navigate, so I click and I click. And suddenly, I’m swimming through a flooded museum of memories and fragments. There are colored gems to guide me at the bottom of the screen: red, purple, blue, orange, brown, green. Different colors on different pages, and then I see something I can relate to: “He’s always been crazy about Tom’s work, though even after reading it fourteen times, he still has absolutely no idea what was going on in Gravity’s Rainbow.” It calms me to know that he had taken on the experience of a piece of writing multiple times that made absolutely no sense to him, but he still enjoy it. He enjoyed that swimming sensation, and I’m able to relate entirely to his “crazy.” The links underneath the colored gems are ‘Press’ and ‘People’ and ‘Contact,’ and I sort of feel like I’m looking at a band’s fan page or something, but I go with it.


I find myself latching onto words or phrases or graphics while swimming through the flux and flow of these hypertexts. The way the letters in The Mandrake Vehicles dripped and cascaded to the bottom of the window or “Reduce to propositional: Narrative underlies all consciousness, what is consciousness really but a collection of stores featuring ‘I’…” from The Unknown Hypertext.

Screen shot 2013-02-24 at 3.47.00 PM


~ by sarahbartie on February 24, 2013.

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