Pauline Masurel & Andrews e about "Blue Hyacinth"

Pauline Masurel's site is

Andrews > At your convenience, if you like,
> I would love to publish "Blue Hyacinth"
> with the other stir frys on
Masurel I'd be absolutely thrilled to see it there. Thank you. I hope it offers a different 'take' on the form using it to purely fictional rather than theoretical ends. Also, placed in context with the others there's a fairer chance that a user running across it would have an idea what it is and what it does. One disadvantage of the top left placement for the navigation is that there's nothing particularly to force the user to draw their cursor down over the text ...other than the knowledge that this will accomplish something.
Andrews > Do you have plans for the text?
Masurel No, this was just made on spec, to see if I could. I've had an offer to host the original Blue Hyacinth notebook which will hopefully happen in January, but I think that copyright-wise the stir fry texts represent sufficiently different versions for there to be no problems. Certainly when I contacted where a few other adaptations hang out they saw no problem in this respect. I've always been a bit of a recycler of words but it seems I may be writing about blue hyacinths for years now on the back of this...
Andrews > I like your top left control. It clarifies the interface and thereby highlights the importance of reading each text on its own.
Masurel I think I wanted the user to have access back to each of the original texts as they chose. The four shades of blue act as a sort of mnemonic I suppose for which story they are 'in' at any given patch in the stir fry. My colour choices were arbitrary. The blue was an easy pick given the title and I just wanted four different ones to blend. But I could envisage someone taking this a lot further. The colour could match the tone of a story. For example, blue for a melancholy tale, pink for romance, red for violence and purple for...well, purple prose. The reader could then stir fry up their own blend of sex and gore or sorrowful whimsy. It could be more subtle than that of course, but the colour could signify something particular (seasons for example) in relation to the texts which might make the visual aspect more interesting when mixing the writing. All of which would presume a greater degree of premeditation in writing the stories of course.
Andrews > It seems you have taken care with how they permute. The stories rush into one another like paint of four blue colors.
Masurel I simply diced up four likely looking texts and then prodded them around when I saw the sorts of things that were arising. When I saw something interesting I tried to play to it. I massaged the originals quite a bit but the framework of each stayed unchanged. I'm in two minds as to whether I think it's a good idea to deliberately construct texts for splitting and whether that would work as well as a happy accident. But I think there's plenty of scope for people trying different approaches.
Andrews > the syntax is usually still fluid after deranging the text.
Masurel This was always my aim. I wanted the discontinuities to be primarily in the sense of events rather than the grammar. The use of different punctuation styles was a way of trying to fudge this a little too, to make it look as though some of the oddities simply came from grafting different styles of writing together. In other words it's a bit like landscape gardening...artifice masquerading as the work of nature. I suppose that although these are single-authored pieces I've deliberately aped the idea of four different contributors. Obviously in places, this breaks down and the 'sentences' don't quite gel, although I hope they can be read fairly easily. There may still be some things I should tidy up. If you've spotted anything you feel I should fix then please do say.
Andrews > How do you see them flowing together?

Well, I wanted the stir frying to transform the meaning of the text fragments as they mingle. For example the brushing past and the brushing of hair at the end. The gender of 'characters' can be switched by juxtaposition with characters from another story. I hope some of it is funny just by incongruity. The horse showering those in the road or the cleaning lady already aflame...perhaps some of the most disturbingly funny generated stories are those involving Tabitha and the horse. In the end. It never gets to be better than dream logic. The original stories have a certain amount of incomprehension in them anyway, so splicing them just magnifies that. I think the interest (assuming there is some) does depend a lot on having seen the original, for the reader getting to know about the whole first. That is one of the reasons I like the stir frys as a cut up technique. It's not destructive, the original is still there, and it allows the reader the same fun that the writer has had by way of understanding the context from which the phrases have been plucked. I don't know if that ramble explained anything much. Mostly I just enjoyed doing it and I would be quite interested in trying to edit or orchestrate texts by other writers now that I have some sort of feel for ways in which this might be done.


Pauline Masurel's site is

The original Blue Hyacinth notebook was a six month online experiment to write a text for each day, all somehow reflecting the theme of blue hyacinth.


Nov 9/2002