Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

December 2012

Ekphrastic Pilfering: Art Museums as Literary Inspiration

Dispatches from Blog Editor Claire Harlan Orsi

I was recently going back through old journals under the guise of “getting ideas” (read: getting out of doing actual writing), when I realized how many of my entries have been inspired by trips to art museums. “Invented organs for invented bodily functions!” reads one note attached to a description of a trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal. “Aluminum foil used to create illusion of depth,” and “floating terrariums” along with “character named Vaughn” accompany a Scotch taped-in ticket to Mass MoCA (5/24/08). I remember that trip: in one darkened gallery my friend Josh and I sprawled out on bean bags, illuminated phrases by Jenny Holzer rolling above us, and promptly fell asleep. When we woke up we felt refreshed, and not just by the 45-minute nap: it was as if in sleep those projected phrases had worked their way into our brains; we left the dark room blinking, the ordinary world newly transformed.

Where Literary Meets Binary

The Literary Substructures of Silent Hill 2 and Mass Effect

This is the ninth in a series of guest posts by Hali Sofala and Eric Jones on the connections between gaming (video and otherwise) and the literary.

If you’ve read our previous posts, we’ve been outlining how different game designs designate which paths players will choose throughout video games, and how those choices reflect the game’s literary relevance. As we've pointed out, whereas open moral game designs do not require the use of structured narratives, divergent path models depend on them.