New River 8 Visited

by Gerhard Rolletschek, Munich

New River 8 can be found at


  Hypertext poetry has come a long way ... Read more

David Herrstrom: Sorting Things Out

  To classify and thus simplify the multiplicity of objects ... Read more

Robert Kendall: A Study in Conveyance

Much closer to print media poetry ... Read more

Joel Weishaus: Inside the Skull-house

A quite different approach is that of Joel Weishaus. His Inside the Skull-house: A Neuropoesis is a well-prepared journey of the brain, an expedition that inverts the conventional literary patterns of modern adventurous travellings. Whereas the usual route, as in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, is one into a remote wilderness and leads to a discovery of one's inner self, Neuropoesis takes us along a quite different path. It's log-book has no referring to exotic or even identitifyable places. And our inner universe, the brain, is the heroine of the epic discovering herself in her material constitution. The materiality of the brain is, of course, a topic traditionally related to the medicine and science. And in the textual chuncks of the log-book entries, there is one thread containing a medicinal-biological description of parts of the human brain. Those chuncks are only seperated by different fonts and type-settings, not by line-breaks, thus creating persistent interruptions of the textual flow.

The structure resembles the pole-model: There's one main thread (ponts 1 to 22) and several annotations to some phrases in it. These annotations which Weishaus calls paratext mostly put the poetic textual material of the main thread into academic contexts.

[a screenshot that can't convey the animated image]

The images in Inside the Skull-house seldomly stand still. They consist of pictures turning into another (by means of animated GIFs), panoramic views moving, pictures dissolving and re-appearing. Most of the images show heads, faces and brains. They weave non-textual patterns that make up a journey that leads along scientific treatment of the pons of a human brain as well as along ancient mythology. The human brain, still resisting to be fully understood by us, is the point of convergence of biological and cultural evolution. It's not only the tool we use to grasp the world around us, but a vast universe inside us still to be discovered. Moreover, Inside the Skull-house has the brain as agent in these journeys of discovery who is not dependent on text, who is capable of combining different discourses - mythological, poetical, scientific.

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