literature electrique

I’ve been meaning to post something for a while about The Reprover, or Le Reprobateur, a hugely impressive work of digital fiction by François Coulon, Paris-based digital writer. It includes excellent cartoons, live video of the main character and a witty text in French and elaborate English which expands and contracts – the same sentence blooming different additional clauses each time you pass a mouse across it. This is a deeply disconcerting effect at first, but once you’ve got used to it, a whole new kind of three dimensional reading emerges. It’s a fascinating idea which could only work on the web.
I’ve been meaning to post.. but haven’t got round to it. That’s why I need a Reprobateur, “someone who would be there simply to give us a bad conscience.” Part psychoanalyst, part priest, part bloke in a suit, the Reprover is a wonderful creation. The story is set in the 80s and you can navigate around it by spinning a 3D polyhedron. “It’s literature plus electricity!” says Coulon.
It’s also plus so many tricks and distractions that it’s hard to settle into – there’s too much fun to be had clicking, spinning and adjusting the layers of soundtrack to actually immerse oneself in the story. The Reprover is beautifully produced and costs real money: 16 Euros or 160 for institutions, but you can get an excellent taster by going to http://www.totonium.com.
I’ve been going back to this one several times for more. Once you’re signed up you can contact the narrator for free advice from your very own Reprover. You’ll wonder how you coped all those years without one.

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