In fact, you, dear reader, are inadvertently on a Internet literary tour. The Lantern Daily is one stop along the way. You could think about Sally Weigel’s work as being one half of a pair. The second, Jason Fisk, is on a tour for his work, The Salt Creek Anthology — also published by CCLaP. His book begins provocatively: Each of the 71 “micro-stories” in this manuscript are embedded with a series of hyperlinks; the phrases they are linked to give you a clue as to the next story you will read by following them. Although the book can be read in a traditional, straightforward way, you’re instead encouraged to determine the reading order through these hyperlinks, thus making the nature of the story itself change from on individual reader to the next. IN the EPUB and paper editions, readers should instead manually turn to the page indicated. It’s a provocative beginning and the book maintains a somewhat labyrinthian relationship with reader by offering various portals within its text. Phrases like “rang for the first time,” or “she grew sick of things quickly,” or “the neighbors talked,” present themselves like possible doorways into other texts that lead to other narratives like layers and layers of reality. It might be overwhelming except that each story, is itself, short, precise and to the point. As such the overall experience is thrilling, a new take on the choose-your-own-adventure form.
Because we are on a literary tour, I would like, therefore, to excerpt one story for you here, so that we can imagine Fisk reading to us. I have italicized the hyperlink phrases, even though they will, in this case, go nowhere. (Imagine that they didn’t survive this transcription/translation):
“Felka smelled excrement in her house and she couldn’t for the life of her figure out where it was coming from. She searched every inch of the bathroom, and also the pipes in the basement, just to make sure no sewage lines had broken. Every time she was in the kitchen, she seemed to smell it. She followed the smell to the pantry and opened the door. There, on the floor, she saw a pile of shit sitting in a puddle of what she guess ed was urine. She immediately cleaned it up. She then sat down at the kitchen table and thought about whose mess it could possibly be. It was then that she finally, officially realized it was to to leave her home.”
“Gary got out of his car and ran over to where he though the deer was. He couldn’t see, but he could hear it snorting in the dark. He let his eyes adjust to the red glow as he walked away from the car’s taillights. He noticed a lump on the ground, raising and lowering, and saw steam ascend into the moonlight with every snort he heard. He slowly walked over to the deer that he had hit with his car, and kneeled down beside it. He put his hand on it; it grunted, and angry, panicky steam rose from its nostrils. He got up and walked back to his car. He pulled a red flannel blanket from the trunk, and went back and raped it over the deer. He took the painkillers out of his pocket and put a small handful of them in his mouth. His mouth was dry, so he chewed the pills before he swallowed them. He then sat down beside the deer and waited for it to die.”
The hyperlinks offer an intriguing emphasis to the text, calling attention to phrases that feel more or less innocuous in the context of each story. Fisk is using the technological resources, common to our everyday reading experience, for a creative end. Which is something I love. I also really love that the book is available in two forms, either as an Epub or as a hand made book — true to CCLaP’s style. Salt Creek Anthology was therefore made with a dual analogue and digital purpose. Images from its production are scattered throughout this post, (you can see the entire play-by-play by going here). The final product is visible below. Otherwise, you can also check out more posts on Fisk by following him on this literary tour, the details of which are available here.
Pick up a copy of Jason Fisk’s book by going here.