C Ó D E X / Í N D E X

⤡ 01.01

Exploring and understanding the full implications of what
the transition from page to screen entails must necessarily
be a community effort, a momentous task that calls for enlightened thinking, visionary planning, and deep critical consideration. It is in these wide and capacious senses that electronic literature challenges us to rethink what literature, and the literary, can do and be.

⤡ 01.02

A ideia do livro como guia para o design de livros digitais tornou-se redundante, porque tendencialmente se reduz esta aproximação aos aspectos formais mais grotescos (textura do papel em ecrã, sugestão de lombada, composição tipográfica que espelha a página impressa sem que se pense nas condicionantes da leitura em ecrã, passagem de página mimetizando a acção real, entre outros). Mas pode o design de livros digitais ficar apenas remetido ao pastiche ou a uma remetência figurativa de um imaginário comum? Poderemos passar da imitação icónica para um ambiente de citação sofisticado na sustentação da actividade criativa dos livros digitais? Quais são as características do livro tradicional mais relevantes para a concepção e design de livros virtuais? Como poderemos construir um léxico comum para o livro, independentemente das suas formulações impressas ou digitais?

⤡ 01.03

Readers began to see the necessity to create meta-textual structures for purposes of analysis. To facilitate the creation of arguments, heads and subheads appeared to mark the divisions of a text. Marginal commentary not only added a gloss, an authorial indication of instructions on how to read the text, but also, created a summary outline in the margins of points visually buried in the linear text. Contents pages provided a condensed argument, calling attention to themes and structures and their order within the volume as a whole. The graphic devices that became conventions in this period are aspects of functional activity. They allow for arguments to be abstracted so they can be used, discussed, refuted.

⤡ 01.04

E começam a desenhar-se agora as inquietações que foram assaltando
o ouvinte: mas como pensar o livro hoje? Como pensar o livro na sua diluição, no seu desaparecimento, na sua absorção pelo espaço multimedia?

⤡ 01.05

What we’re dealing with here is a transitional medium, with constantly mutating hybrid characteristics. Paper and pixel complement each other, even as they compete with one another. They need each other to survive, though they both may have good reasons for ‘feeling superior’ to the other. Digital media relies on the long experience of print in the fields of layout and content management.
And print has much to gain from digital media’s atomisation of content, with its endless possibilities of indexing and searching.

⤡ 01.06

Retemos a ideia de livro enquanto espaço performático, de acção, em vez do formal ou iconográfico (artefacto composto por um conjunto de páginas agregadas entre si, em sequência fixa) e circunscrevemos com mais evidência o “programa” do códice ou o seu espaço fenomenológico — a complexa produção de sentido que se constrói a partir das interacções dinâmicas com o objecto.
A análise demonstra as capacidades virtuais
do livro impresso, ao potenciar uma acção
que não se encerra nos aspectos físicos do objecto e que se estende ao livro digital, acrescendo-lhe as propriedades únicas dos meios electrónicos.



⤡ 01.08

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⤡ 01.07

Instead of reading a book as a formal structure, then, we should understand it in terms of what is known in the architecture profession as a “program” constituted by the activities that arise from a response to the formal structures. Rather than relying on a literal reading of book “metaphors” grounded in a formal iconography of the codex, we should instead look to scholarly and artistic practices for an insight into ways the programmatic function of the traditional codex has been realized. Many aspects
of traditional codex books are relevant to
the conception and design of virtual books.
These depend on the idea of the book
as a performative space for the production
of reading.

The many “drawbacks” of traditional books are, therefore, supposedly to be overcome by introducing into electronic ones features like a progress gauge, book marks, spaces for annotation, search capabilities, navigation, and comments by the author. Such a list is easily ridiculed, since every feature described is already fully present in a traditional codex and, in fact, the very difficulty resides in simulating in another medium the efficient functionalities that exist in the traditional form. But other features of electronic space do add functionality - live links and real - time or frequent refresh of information.

⤡ 01.09

The history of books led to a second technological shift when the codex replaced the scroll sometime soon after the beginning of the Christian era. By the third century AD, the codex—that is, books with pages that you turn as opposed to scrolls that you roll—became crucial to the spread of Christianity. It transformed the experience of reading: the page emerged as a unit of perception, and readers were able to leaf through a clearly articulated text, one that eventually included differentiated words (that is, words separated by spaces), paragraphs, and chapters, along with tables of contents, indexes, and other reader’s aids.


⤡ 01.10

So far, electronic books mean that the medium of the book has morphed from pre-medieval scroll to the bound codex, and now from the codex to the computer file [that can be arbitrarily formatted as simulated paginated codex or a scroll].

⤡ 01.11

The codex, as a binding of diverse stuff within one whole, thus migrates into navigation structure:
‘A key concept of EPUB is that a Publication consists of multiple resources that may be completely navigated and consumed by a person or program in some specific order'’.

⤡ 01.12

As páginas web não devem ser pensadas em termos de Começo, Desenvolvimento e Fim, mas sim Abertura, Acesso, Encerramento.
(...) A experiência hermenêutica no ecrã
de computador revela, por um lado,
a continuidade nos princípios discursivos clássicos, e por outro, a extensão destes princípios por explorar da tradição da escrita e do design gráfico. Falamos de revolução digital, no sentido em que se desenvolveram os novos sentidos de leitura, educação e comunicação, que no entanto, se continuam
a basear nos hábitos prévios da persuasão.
A reordenação destas possibilidades recoloca o design como o veículo para a reflexão e produção destas inovações.

⤡ 01.13

But what is then a book?
No definition is set in stone. yet the creation of the Web as a dynamic, up-to-date, ephemeral and unstable medium has reciprocally helped to solidify a notion of the book as a relatively stable, long-term medium. This all the more manifest in the fact that unstable, quickly obsoleted book genres such as telephone registers, technical documentation and city maps, and last not least journalism, have migrated from the printed page to the Web.