Choose Your Own Adventure

I could start talking about how great the digital games were, how awesome RvB is or how it revolutionized some type of digital media. However, I didn’t spend as much time on them as I spent struggling with Tree of Codes. I first began looking through the book, and I read it once. Then I read it again. Then I read it a third time. Every time I re-read, I found that sentences evolved, adding in more emotion than it had the previous time, or completely changing the sentence meaning. I had fleeting recollections to The Mandrake Vehicles where a set of words was taken, shortened, and then presented as a new work. Then, following up from a tweeted hint, I researched (yes, I can lie and pretend I read it or that I made an effort to get it in person, but I’m neither a liar nor driven) a novel called “The Street of Crocodiles” by Bruno Schulz. Through my research I discovered mainly that this whole text, everything that we know as Tree of Codes, is just The Street of Crocodiles “Mandraked”. The connects between the two began to become clear. The main difference however, is that we as readers control the destiny of the letters. It is our job to decide how to read the novel. Should each page be read individually, as a set of two or three, or read as a whole right from the start? If the last option is chosen you find yourself reading the same words over and over again sometimes for ten or fifteen pages giving you both an uncanny look into the future of the narrative and a very repetitive sentence. It is because of this “eye of the beholder” type of reading that I won’t attempt to summarize any of the text. However, I did like the power of being able to create my own story. The biggest thing I struggled with was if the book could be considered “original”. After all, it is just a hollowed out copy of The Street of Crocodiles. But, no writer has a copyright on words, anybody may rearrange words as they please, leaving no closer to my definition. Then, it dawned on me. I was the author of my own story. You give me words, and I’ll give you the narrative.

The original idea for this post was to attempt a type of re-creation of the novel. This explains the large block-like text. However, I struggled with how to do this in a proper way, and ultimately decided that this kind of storytelling is best left to the print versions.


~ by brogarn on March 24, 2013.

One Response to “Choose Your Own Adventure”

  1. While I was reading Tree of Codes, I came across the same issues. Whether to read only the new words or the whole book, or even if two letter add ons to the word from a seperate page are suppose to change the tense or perhaps somehow double it **for example: backed[ed]
    Furthermore, I did not read the novel 3 times but I read it as if I was reading the whole page, so even though it was repetitive the tone kept changing spirit. There was this one sentence of rising and falling in the begin that really surprised me how much variety can be added to a sentence that is 88% the same & then repeated with a different word. Kudos

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