As a Chinese University student major in English, I had never acknowledged Electronic Literature before in both my study and my life. To be honest, I was kind of afraid to take the class at the first as I have never heard the word “ELIT” before. For me, the definition of Electronic Literature used to be very simple, just the literature that people read online, until I took the class and read the article entitled “Navigating Electronic Literature” by Jessica Pressman. I realized the great importance of “navigation” in ELIT, which “affects the ways in which we read and interact with digital textuality.” Since navigation combines readers’ actions to the works’ performances, it shows the significance and meaning of ELIT, which can be described as “interaction”.
When I read “Twelve Blue” by Michael Joyce, which confused me was that sometimes I cannot help but ask myself “Am I reading a literature?” The reading experience of “Twelve Blue” is really different to traditional literature, when you just read through the words whether they are on the book pages or on the screen. It is more close to playing games for me. Personally, I have not read any books like “choose your own adventure books” as a Chinese, but I have play some choose your own adventure games when I was an elementary school student, in which you jump to different questions depends on your choices and answers to the previous questions. The reading process of “Twelve Blue” reminds me of those games I had played before. However, when reading the book, I started a new story with different characters and contents when I turned to different “questions”. Hence, it is really difficult for me to remember all the stories that I read previously. I ended up almost a mess in my memory, as I failed to figure out the names of different characters in different stories.
Nevertheless, the brand new reading experience does excite me to a large extend. I feel that ELIT makes it possible for readers to have diverse choices and experiences even though they read the same works. They are allowed to kind of play with the work, which makes “reading” itself much more attractive and interesting rather than being limited by the works. Therefore, I am excited to learn more and read more ELITs in the following classes.