Remediation of Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique by Raymond Roussel: Functional Issue
Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique is a book Raymond Roussel wrote in the 1920’s. This book uses many different structures. It is one of the most complex French literary works in constrained literature. The most evident constraint is the massive use of text blocks slotted in by sets of brackets. But there are many other structures based on dispersed rimes, semantic axes, homonyms, paronyms, numbers... Each is used to build long structures in the text. We have previously done a digital remediation of this work based on the transformation of the bracket structure into a hypertextual structure. In the current project, we want to explore another possibility that seems more efficient to discover the other structures. It consists in text animations that progressively develop and unfurl in time the structures from their initial node (the set, the rhymes...) to the final sentences. This kind of remediation is a “reading machine” of the work, not a digital version of the book because Roussel’s text will be the final state of the animation. We plan to configure the interface according to several structures so that the reader would choose between any of them. We present a functional online prototype applied to some of those structures, showing the concepts of the interface, how Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique will be reconfigured and how a generated animation can help to read and understand constrained literature.
remediation, complex structures, reading machine, hypertext
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