I have always been, and always will be a lover of pen to paper and cover to cover. Although the traditional method of writing a poem, story, essay, or even a grocery list has changed over the years and now includes input by typewriters, computers, handheld PDA’s and blackberries I will never stray from the simple basic method of writing and reading literature – word only.
Adding pictures and sound to literature is in no way a new revelation. Yet for as long as I can remember these added images and sound were still enclosed in a book, and were not flashing across a computer screen in a bold and intrusive method as thought they were saying, “look at me.” No thanks. I have given it a chance. I struggled with the click through tabs, the abode upgrade downloads, the self navigation, and worst of all the 10 minute trickling of letters down the screen that at first developed a sense of intrigue in me that maybe somehow something might happen. But then at a point where it appears there is no end.. it does end, and rather abruptly thereby leaving me desperate for the wasted ten minutes of my life back.
As a child, my mom bought me the books that had a soundboard along the side. The reader, me in this case, is usually under the age of 5 and is instructed to push a button on this soundboard and a little speaker at the bottom would blast some sort of animal sound, Disney character quote or plane, train and automobile noise. They did not hold my interest; even then it was my opinion that you can’t use bells and whistles to detract from your lack of content. I have concluded that there is a reason that pictures are reserved for children’s books. They are there to aid in the development of a child’s creative side, to stimulate interest and promote a child’s own imagination. I don’t need this. I prefer to create my own images, to get lost in the writing, and to develop meaning for the words myself. That being said, I am also the person who abhors the thought of seeing a Hollywood adaptation of a novel I love. Why on earth would I want to erase the beautiful images I have made for myself and replace them with some Hollywood hotshot nitwits idea of what the novel should look like. For example: White Oleander: Novel, spectacular; Film, horrid. Blindness, a book that impacted my life so much so that I gave it as a gift to everyone I loved for Christmas that year, and the film adaptation was tragic and despicable. Please don’t even get me started on the upcoming adaptation of Alice Sebold’s “The lovely bones” I may just cry.
Maybe it is for this reason that I loathe the E-Literature. The only film adaptations that have ever been successful in my eyes are those of children’s novels. Novels that are designed to be entertainment like “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” I will welcome with open arms to the screen. Yes by all means, create e-literature for children, but give me words on paper enclosed in two covers. I need the definitive beginning and end that comes with such a format.. So no, I do not see E-Lit as a vibrant exciting strand of literary production. All the flash, html, image, sound, and click through nonsense is another way to distract the reader from actually looking at words on a page and deciding what to do with them. Sure e-lit does hold a place somewhere in the land of literature, but that place should be reserved for children.
Alexandra “Anti-E.Lit” Loslier