Monthly Archives: May 2014 (First line of

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at is a CGM website which focus on a first line of books. First lines are very important and impressive, and very short.The developer of the website show them to attract more people who are interested in books.

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Users post a first line of a book attaching book information such as Amazon link. When users click a first sentence, they can get information of the book and buy them online.



Oupipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle : workshop of potential literature ) was a French writers workshop which sought to possibility of literature under technical restriction.  The founders were Noël Arnaud,  Jacques Bens , Claude Berge, Jacques Duchateau, Latis (Emmanuel Peillet) ,François Le Lionnais, Jean Lescure, Raymond Queneau and Jean Queval Albert-Marie Schmidt.

The literal bondage was as below:  palindromes, univocalism, S+7, Prisoner’s constraint, snowball, lipograms (a composition from which the writer systematically omits a certain letter or certain letters of the alphabet)  and palindrome (a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as ).

One of the most famous Oulipian’s works is “A Void” (“La Disparition”) by  Georges Perec in 1969.  The remarkable novel never uses the alphabet “e”, which is most often used alphabet in French.  “Exercices de Style” written by Raymond Queneau in 1947 showed ninety-nine types of writing styles by rewriting a very simple and boring short scene.



Oulipo: freeing literature by tightening its rules

Raymond Queneau “Hundred Thousand Billion Poems”

Online Cthulhu Mythos TRPG in Japan

These days, tabletop role-playing game (TRPG) videos have been becoming popular on Nico Nico Douga, which is one of the biggest online video share service in Japan.  TRPG is a traditional game style that participants describe their character’s actions and create stories with other participants.  It invented and became popular in 1970’s in Western countries, especially the USA.  Although TRPG is very classic style, many young people are interested in it.  Furthermore, some of them gathered and started to play a tabletop role-playing game instead of online games.  Specifically, TRPG of Cthulhu Mythos and Paranoia are popular among Nico Nico Douga users.

Cthulhu Mythos

Cthulhu Mythos is a system of co-created fictional mythology , based on novels by American novelist, H. P. Lovecraft.  Cthulhu Mythos has its roots in Lovecraft’s short story “Call of Cthulhu” written in 1928. The members of “Lovecraft Circle” such as Clark Ashton Smith , Robert E. Howard , Robert Bloch , Frank Belknap Long  and Henry Kuttne had co-created the methodological system using shared creatures, settings and view of the world for more than ten years.  After Lovecraft passed away in 1937,  August Derleth categorized and developed the mythodological system.  Furthermore, some writers such as Lin Carter, Colin Wilson, and Brian Lumley wrote stories using the world of Cthulhu Mythos.

Tabletop role-playing game

Tabletop role-playing game (TRPG) is a game style using fantasy based scenario and a dice.  There are lots of game scenarios provided by game companies.  Most players use them, but some players create their own games using existing game rules.

TRPG is similar to video RPG, but it is more flexible than video games because players have freedom to describe their dialogue and actions.  Each player chooses a character from assets, and set his or her character’s skills and background.  A game master who organize whole story lead players to achieve their goal, and assess their actions and acting according to rules.

Interactive and non-linear Narrative

TRPG is a kind of interactive and non-linear narrative.  Generally, basic story line and the goal are prepared by scenario books.  However, there are lots of scenario branches and choices for players.  Players can find different characters, course of story and goals even though players have  many game sessions using just one scenario.

Let’s play videos on the internet

In 1970s, there was a limitation that players had to gather in a room. However, players can use online chat tools to hold a session nowadays.  Online TRPG playing videos provide opportunities to find different kinds of TRPG scenarios and other players.


Raymond Queneau “Hundred Thousand Billion Poems”

“Hundred Thousand Billion Poems”

Raimond Queneau was a French novelist well known as a co-founder of  Ouvroir de littérature potentielle (Oulipo).  Oulipo’s meaning is ” a workshop of potential literature”,and they investigated potential of literature under structural constraints.

Queneau created “Hundred Thousand Billion Poems” (Cent Mille Milliards de poèmes), which consists of 14 sets of 10 lines in 1961.  Readers choose one line from ten choices, and continue the process fourteen times.  In fact, there are 10*14 patterns (hundred thousand billion) of poems in the small book.

Online “Hundred Thousand Billion Poems”

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It seems to be one of generative literature . There is a program of “Hundred Thousand Billion Poems” made by one of his fans on the internet. Lines are selected automatically when readers put their cursor on each line.


100,000,000,000,000 Sonnets


Janet Horowitz Murray “Hamlet on the Holodeck”

Murray, J.H. Hamlet on the Holodeck : The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. The MIT Press. Cambridge. 1998.

In trying to imagine Hamlet on the holodeck, then, I am not asking if it is possible to translate a particular Shakes peace play into another format.  I am asking if we can hope to capture in cyberdrama something as true to the human condition, and as beautifully expressed, as the life that Shakes peace captured on the Elizabethan stage (p274).

About the book

“Stories define how we think, play, and understand our lives. In this comprehensive and readable book — already a classic statement of the aesthetics of digital media, acclaimed by practitioners and theorists alike — Janet Murray shows how the computer is reshaping the stories we live by.Murray discusses the unique properties and pleasures of digital environments and connects them with the traditional satisfactions of narrative. She analyzes the dramatic satisfaction of participatory stories and considers what would be necessary to move interactive fiction from the formats of childish games and confusing labyrinths into a mature and compelling art form. Through a blend of imagination and techno-wizardry, Murray provides both readers and writers with a guide to the storytelling of the future.”

Chapter 1 : A New Medium for Storytelling

Multiform story
Frank Capa “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Jorge Luis Borges “The Garden of Forking Paths”
Delmore Shwartz ” In Dreams Begin Responsibilities”
Alan Lightman ” Einstein’s Dreams”

Active audience
Italo Calvino If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
Fans of fantasy literature from Tolkien: role-playing ( LARP)
MUDs ( Multi-User Domains)

Movies in 3D
Riding movies

Dramatic Storytelling in Electronic Games
Roland Barthes / George Landow

Book List


Murray, J.H. 1998. Hamlet on the Holodeck : The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. The MIT Press. Cambridge.

Hayles, N. K. and Pressman,J. (ed.) . 2013. Comparative Textual Media Transforming the Humanities in the Postprint Era. Minnesota : University of Minnesota Press.


Aarseth, E.J. 1997. Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Katherine, H.N. 2008. Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary. University of Notre Dame Press.

Ciccoricco, D. 2007. Reading Network Fiction. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press.

Katherine, H.N. 2012. How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis. University Of Chicago Press.

Katherine, H.N. 2002. Writing Machines (Mediaworks Pamphlets). The MIT Press.

Katherine, H.N. 2005. My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts. University Of Chicago Press.

Bissell, E. B. 2003. The question of literature: The place of the literary in contemporary theory. Manchester. Manchester University Press.

Glazier, L. P. 2001. Digital Poetics: Hypertext, Visual-Kinetic Text and Writing in Programmable Media. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama.

Kirschenbaum. M.G. 2012. Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination. Cambridge : The MIT Press.

Marie-Laure Ryan. Narrative Across Media: The Languages of Storytelling.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
    -We need Narrative and Literature
  • What’s Narrative?
    Linear Narrative / Non Linear Narrative / Parallel Path /  Branching / Dynamic Narrative / Simultaneous Narrative
  • New approach of Literature
    – Oolipo / Cut-up/Automation by Surrealists
  • Interactive Literature
    -word play / generative literature / website based on literature
  • Literature on the internet
    -electronic literature/ cyberspace literature
  • Product