The videos of Bill Bly’s traversal and interview are now available at our Vimeo Channel.
If you are visiting this site, you probably already know that Bill is the author of the hypertext, We Descend, an important work of early digital literature published by Eastgate Systems in the 1990s.
You can read the brief essay I wrote about the work. If you are a Dante lover, you may enjoy the essay from the perspective of the journey theme found in Dante’s Commedia.
We included Bill in Pathfinders at the invitation of Matthew Kirschembaum at the University of Maryland’s Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities where the Bill Bly Collection is archived. Porter Olson, a PhD candidate at UMD and a scholar involved in the Bit Curator project, is transcribing the videos so that they exist in a textual form for use by scholars. It is this kind of translational redundancy that Pathfinders embraces, advocating as we do for collecting as well as emulating and migrating for digital translation and transcriptions for media translation.
I am writing about media translation in my article for Maria Mencia’s book to be published with the University of West Virginia Press. Specially, I will be looking at the ways in which Uncle Roger changes as it moves from the serial poem delivered over the WELL, to the database narrative that constitutes the version found on the floppy disks, and then to the web-based version available currently. A same type of study can be undertaken with Bill’s We Descend since it too has been published in various formats. Any grad students looking for a research topic for a M.A. thesis out there?