Guynup, "William Blake and the Study of Virtual Space: Adapting "The Crystal Cabinet" to a New Medium"
Digital Designs on Blake
William Blake and the Study of Virtual Space: Adapting "The Crystal Cabinet" to a New Medium
Steve Guynup, University of Baltimore
Within the Virtual Crystal Cabinet, Blakean textuality engages our new, computer-driven reality. Poetic text, images, and architectural elements are blended through graphic design techniques, filmic conventions and theories of human computer interaction. This essay appears in _Digital Designs on Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.
Blake and the Virtual Cabinet
The Virtual Crystal Cabinet could be described as a series of three-dimensional digital installations, as a work of virtual sculpture that blends and binds poetry with architecture, or as a series of immersively illustrated pages. Regardless of the description, its simple goal is to tell a story and to share wisdom. Like traditional stories it, on the surface, follows a single narrative thread and no amount of mouse clicking changes the outcome. Users typically do find new relationships, new philosophic insights when they revisit the Virtual Crystal Cabinet. This ability comes from the conceptual density of the work. Credit for the deeply textural undertones and for the effective merger of multiple modalities goes to the Crystal Cabinet's author, Romantic poet William Blake. This paper addresses the process of adapting Blake's poem "The Crystal Cabinet" into in a virtual environment and the emergent relationship between his work and the multimediated space within the computer screen.
More than anyone before him, William Blake merged the written word, the illuminated image and the profound thought into a unified vision of the cosmos. His books, each written, illustrated and published by Blake himself, are harbingers of the dynamic multimedia expressions we, two hundred years later, are just beginning to explore. To view, read and attempt to comprehend one of his works, one must accept Blake's invitation to see the pages as an immersive environment and be able to process it on many levels simultaneously. Like Stéphane Mallarmé's construct of "The Book: Spiritual Instrument," Blake saw the page as a musical score, poetic vision, artistic image and typographical code (McGann 210). Furthermore, for Blake the separation between these levels was an illusion caused by the rational and reasoned mindset championed by men like Isaac Newton.
Upon reading, the multileveled text becomes a machine for executing simultaneous orders upon the senses. Aroused and engaged, the viewer's senses bring life to the page. In re-envisioning virtual space, we would benefit by looking beyond the simplistic recreation of the physical world and grow to understand it in a Mallarméan-Blakean fashion, as a program that executes orders upon the senses. Within the virtual, Blakean multileveled programming becomes multidimensional. From this vantage point, the works of William Blake are a uniquely powerful departure point for the exploration of virtual space. Compared with the conventional works that seek to mirror reality or employ the virtual in support of video game narratives, his works form a beachhead of compelling insight for a new and undiscovered medium.
Blake is not a Game: Illustrated Page & Immersive Space
Video games are the starting point for the general public's understanding of virtual space (Grove & Williams 79). Unfortunately, video games are a less than optimal staring point for examining William Blake. Blake had an overwhelming desire to open the doors of perception, "For man has clos'd himself up till he sees all things through the narrow chinks of his cavern" (Blake 391). Blake's writings and images are a continuous battle against what he saw as the grave shortcomings of the Industrial Revolution (mass production) and the Age of Enlightenment (the dominance of scientific method). Video game narratives and the manner in which they program the senses are the product of mass production and scientific method. The video game player interacts within a "narrow chink" of the possibilities of virtual space. In practice, game narratives, those with theatrical storylines, seek to emulate the physical world and only through pop culture constructs of the superhero and/or the supernatural do they offer any minor variant schema for viewer participation. Beneath the surface of superhero and/or supernatural the functional imperatives of typical narrative video games produce a medium mired in the "same dull round" (Blake 3). Narrative video games are a mechanical reproduction of reality whose underlying story is not meant to be deeply questioned. Open interpretation of the narrative which drives a game leads the user to confront the boundaries of the program. This confrontation breaks the immersion of the virtual space and places the user outside the world. The story is no longer believeable. The game programmers, to borrow a phrase from McGann, code "reflexive works of analysis"(109). They assess the beliefs of the user and suspend their disbelief in a faux coded reality. Game programmers seek to create and maintain this immersion, this illusion of the world. In contrast, William Blake sought to break it. Yet within both the game space and the world itself, after the illusion of reality is broken, a reality remains.
Beyond the reach of Newtonian time and space, the works of William Blake can be seen as "an imaginative argument—an argument mounted in works of imagination—against all non-performative styles of interpretation. Interpretation of works of imagination called for responsive works of imagination, not reflexive works of analysis." (McGann 109). The new media adaptations of works by William Blake demand that affordances of virtual space be brought to the forefront. The Virtual Crystal Cabinet is a celebration of transgressed boundaries, an embrace of poetic truth and vision over texture-mapped surfaces of an assumed reality.
Navigation Without A Path
Blake pushes us further, beyond realistic looking space and into a visionary landscape of his four-folded space. Creating this effect requires more than a single expansive environment of realistic space can deliver. To break space and guide time we turn to literary tradition. The narrative of Blake's "Crystal Cabinet" is arranged by stanza. Extruding this into the Virtual Crystal Cabinet, its seven stanzas operate in parallel as individual conceptually focused environments as well as building blocks within the larger philosophic structure. The navigation structure is two-fold. For ease of reading, a simple set of forward and back buttons appear after the manual navigation mode is selected. The use of forward and back buttons within a three dimensional space opens the door to a unique comparison to modes of navigation in written texts. In the original "Crystal Cabinet", Blake likely acknowledged that the reader might return to re-read parts of the text that were of specific interest to the reader. Thumbing through pages and skimming paragraphs is a simple task for books made of paper. In virtual environments and video games there is no truly corresponding interaction. At best, some games allow you to replay a level which perhaps compares to re-reading a chapter in a book. As for page skimming, the game player/virtual viewer typically has little choice but to move very fast.
The default navigation setting operates more like that of a first time reader. They are immersed in the page and read every word one after the other. After they have seen what is needed they can move on. The default navigation is also rooted in Blake's own philosophy that a person's actions shape their environment in ways beyond their own comprehension. The default navigation schema forces the viewer on a crooked, unseen path. The value of this over the secondary navigation schema's much simpler straight-forward use of forward and back buttons also echoes Blake: "Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius" (Blake 38). The question of paths arises in many other works by Blake, a fact noted by Dan Miller in the introduction to Critical Paths: Blake and the Argument of Method. Miller states that "the right way is all too easily taken over and altered, so that the just man must pursue a pathless route." Extending a path to follow into a metaphor of a method to follow, Miller ponders "if there is a truly Blakean methodology . . . it may be best to approach it tangentially. Some paths require detours."
To accomplish the "crooked roads," the Virtual Crystal Cabinet default navigation schema uses a series of sensors and closed spaces which offers navigational freedom, yet ensures the Blakean narration be told. No hidden buttons need to be clicked. No amount of points must be scored. No puzzles need to be solved. The user must simply engage and explore worlds that are beyond their immediate control. The underlying structure is relatively simple. The spaces are surrounded by a circular, artistically image-textured outer wall. Second, the navigation incorporates the viewers "distance from" and "visibility of" the centerpoint positioned narrative elements or installations within the circular walled space. The next stanza/virtual space emerges based upon the viewer's engagement or disengagement with the narrative element(s) of the current stanza/virtual space. This allows the viewer infinite paths which lead to a narrow goal of seeing and contemplating a single multivalent element which includes the text stanza of the poem. The Virtual Crystal Cabinet employs a series of sensors that track the viewer's motion and direction of viewpoint. The primary narrative content is located in the center of the virtual space. Typically after the viewer has entered the center, explored the narrative installation or element(s), gained a knowledge of the installation and exited does the next virtual environment emerge and replaces the earlier one. Subtle changes in sensor combinations keep this effect from being obvious.
With the philosophy of a "pathless route" as the default setting, the act of realizing it within a virtual space, a space with potentially infinite paths to follow is a difficult task. How does the viewer travel through a series of virtual spaces in complete freedom and still reach the end of the poem? The difficulty of this task demanded the secondary forward and back button schema be implemented. The different methods of navigating the stanzas create different user experiences and relate to different reasons a viewer would be visiting the space. The default, pathless route, setting subjugates the viewer. They must travel the space and unwittingly see what the narrative dictates they must see. They do not control their environment; in fact the opposite is true. The environment through lures and walls controls them. Surprisingly, this lack of control seems to further the realistic immersive feeling of the space. Perhaps this is because much of the real world and certainly the Blakean world, is equally beyond the control of the viewer. On the other end of the spectrum, the forward and back button navigation schema demotes the space from environment to interface. The world is now much more at the command of the viewer. Traveling through the stanzas can be immediately realized for no reason other than the viewers' individual whims.
Seven Stanzas: Seven Worlds
The Crystal Cabinet's seven stanzas form a superstructure through which the story elements can be interwoven, imagery can be overlaid and deeper themes of Blakean thought can be embedded. Here we can look to McGann's view that "strictly in terms of bibliographical codes, then, poetical works epitomize a crucial expressive feature of textuality in general: that it can be seen to organize itself in terms of various relational segmentations and metasegmentations" (McGann 183). Within the virtual, modalities mix and merge. Virtual text, imagery and animation blend according to classic graphic design techniques as well as cognitive theories behind human computer interaction. Metaphoric images and religious symbols, hidden and obvious, run throughout each stanza producing effects both subtle and dramatic. Combined, these elements become a shocking unified whole in the service of William Blake.
The Maiden caught me in the Wild Where I was dancing merrily She put me into her Cabinet And Lockd me up with a golden Key This Cabinet is formd of Gold And Pearl & Crystal shining bright And within it opens into a World And a little lovely Moony Night Another England there I saw Another London with its Tower Another Thames & other Hills And another pleasant Surrey Bower Another Maiden like herself Translucent lovely shining clear Threefold each in the other closd O what a pleasant trembling fear O what a smile a threefold Smile Filld me that like a flame I burnd I bent to Kiss the lovely Maid And found a Threefold Kiss returnd I strove to seize the inmost Form With ardor fierce & hands of flame But burst the Crystal Cabinet And like a Weeping Babe became A weeping Babe upon the wild And Weeping Woman pale reclind And in the outward Air again I filld with woes the passing Wind
Independent, yet linked through the narrative, color scheme, re-use of objects and the centerpoint positioning of the narrative elements, these spaces produce a uniquely harmonic resonance with the viewer. Shown above through a series of screen captures, the narrative progression into the reality-breaking philosophy of William Blake becomes apparent. The user is thrust out of the "cavern" through a "narrow chink" by the words and images of this Blakean space and into a three-fold vision. When the four-fold vision is sought, the Crystal Cabinet and the space breaks. In the seventh and final stanza, the viewer is returned to the original space in which they entered, the town square in London. This London is exactly the same as the one the viewer first enters, yet with a visionary difference. The viewer's experience has triggered a new philosophically driven perception of London. The city is seen through Blakean eyes.
Structuring, Transitioning and Metaphorical Entrenchment
The architecture of the seven environments which demark the seven stanzas of Blake's Crystal Cabinet follows a progression from realistic environment to abstract space. For the viewer, this creates a comfortable introduction to the poem through an easily interpreted space. As the poem continues, the environments steadily grow more abstract, more visionary in nature. The gradual process serves to educate the viewer in stages and enables them to make the cognitive connections needed to interpret the poem despite the growing detachment from the superficial surface qualities of realistic space.
The transitions from one space to the next also follow a gradual educational process. The initial realistic space, the town square of London, appears on screen in a dynamic, almost filmic, manner. The town square and the central image of woman with key expands on the x and z axes and then rises up along the y axis. The user is then asked to navigate a realistic appearing space, but, via the filmic introduction, the user understands it to be more than real.
The second stanza brings a simple change to the environment: the woman and the key are replaced by the Crystal Cabinet model. Stanza three features the opening of the cabinet. It swallows the user, and there, inside the Crystal Cabinet model, the viewer is placed above and outside of another London. Throughout the remaining stanzas, the transitions grow more abrupt. This is especially true of the transition through the tumultuous fourth, fifth and sixth stanzas. The only element used to ease the viewer's transition from stanza three to four and from stanza six to seven is a grey-toned, stylized image of the horizon that forms the panoramic background graphic in these stanzas.
Conceptually, the progressively changing and flexible nature of virtual space matches up well with the text of the Crystal Cabinet and with the thought of William Blake. The viewer enters the space and interprets it through a "narrow chink" of reality. Casting aside reality and exposing the visionary nature of virtual space, the passionate laws that govern human nature are exposed. Floating images, metaphorical objects and dynamic texts are woven within vine-like structures in direct reference to Blake's use of the illustrated page. In the final stanza the viewer returns to realistic space. Yet reality is no longer what it was. The viewer's experience now allows him/her to see a world which naïve eyes had believed to be stable, entrenched and unyielding, is actually in a state of constant flux. The city moves; the structures of man turn. This motion is powered not by some outside Newtonian force, but by the human spirit and human desire. Beyond the reach of an industrial age, a four-fold vision stands against the science and the notion of progress. This is not to say that science or progress lack value; it is only that which is most important, that which is central to understanding humanity, remains constant. The visual representation of constancy is found in the slowly animating photographic image of our male "stand in" for Blake, which in the first two stanzas is semi-transparently mapped onto the walls of London. His position in the seventh stanza is exactly the same as in the first two stanzas.
The objects, images and animations within Virtual Crystal Cabinet are an open-ended invitation for the viewer to make his/her own metaphorical connections to the philosophy of William Blake. While the virtual designer's intended metaphoric meanings may not match with the interpreted meanings produced by the viewer, the overall richness of the Virtual Crystal Cabinet supports a Blakean perspective on the work. The levels of meaning vary from relatively straight-forward constructs such as the image of the woman as representative of the maiden within Blake's text to more abstract comparisons such as the golden key being the equivalent of the poem's male character's genitalia. The Crystal Cabinet itself can be interpreted as metaphor for a woman's vagina. Given Blake's own admission in Milton that the "sexual is threefold," the vagina metaphor seems appropriate. In the Virtual Crystal Cabinet the cabinet is utilized as sexual object and is subtly texture mapped with elements from a naked woman. In the seventh, final stanza the cabinet is laid on its back and metaphorically becomes a womb from which the "babe" is born. Pushing the boundaries of sexual innuendo is the "Surrey bower" in stanza three. Technically, a bower is a depression in the earth similar to, but smaller than a valley. With the sexual nature of the Crystal Cabinet accepted, the "Surrey bower" may also carry a vaginal interpretation. The Virtual Crystal Cabinet responds to the duality by overlaying an image of a valley landscape from Surrey, England and compositing it with a lap of a naked woman.
The relationships between the religious and the sexual metaphors are strikingly obvious. For example, the images of the maiden often feature a strategically placed apple. Clearly this becomes a reference to Eve, the first woman, the first mother. As Blake's text of the "Crystal Cabinet" doesn't mention Eve or religion specifically, the use of the apple and its potentially implied meaning, that the Crystal Cabinet poem mirrors Adam's fall, is left in the hands, or mouse of the viewer.
In the middle stanzas, a rotating Leaf/Flame/Wave object/element is introduced. This object was taken from Blake's America where it is colored as a leaf. Seeing the need to represent the three-fold vision and noting that the shape of the leaf also resembled the shape of Blake's flames, a strategy was concocted. The one object can be seen as three elements: Leaf, Fire, Water. To produce this effect the object is rotated and its colors change Leaf (Green), Fire (Red), Water (Blue). Correspondingly seen as Blake's three-fold philosophy that coincides with the three-fold kiss in the poem. Viewers, when asked about this Leaf/Flame/Wave object typically respond that it is a "dinosaur" or an "aardvark." This misinterpretation may seem to be a serious problem as dinosaurs were not a popular subject for Blake, but it is not for the simplest of reasons. Abstract shapes are not typically interpreted until called into question. The viewer had been pulled from the immersive experience and asked – what is this shape? Confronted by a need to answer they reach outward for the nearest compatible form, in this case a "dinosaur" or an "aardvark." Had they not been asked, the object would have remained abstract and through the general rules of visual design still been elementally supportive of the virtual installation. Perhaps after viewing some Blakean imagery within a help window, the three-folded meaning may become clear.
The potential to embed meanings that even the most experienced Blake scholar would miss becomes apparent in the first stanza. The vine-like elements in the black fence are taken directly from Blake's "Holy Thursday" in Songs of Experience. The vine-like element in the gold rings that flow through the maiden are taken from Blake's "Holy Thursday" in Songs of Innocence. This sets the stage for a Blakean cyclical construction of a person's innocent birth, the gaining of experience through action and for Blake the end goal of regaining innocence. In the first stanza the viewer enters the world innocent, through action gains experience (traveling past the gates of experience) and perceives a goal of a regained and also maintained innocence. In the seventh stanza the male character presented as Blake is, by virtue of love and lost, reborn a "Weeping Babe" and is ringed by the elements of innocence.
Loosely speaking, a generic sender-message-receiver model of communication has been utilized in the creation of this space. The primary break from this model stems from the fact that the receiver via the navigation process through the virtual space becomes self-sending. Furthermore any consistent preferences or styles in movement, such as taking short choppy steps, making long flowing arcs, being stuck on walls or even in how narrative elements are approached, creates a singular, viewer-dependent style of texturalizing the messages being sent. This often causes the act of self-sending to be self-reinforcing in terms of the narrative message. The viewer's actions create a visual narrative, similar to that of watching a film, yet in a virtual space, it is individually tuned by movement and action.
Film Connections and Conventions
This movement into the unknown of Blakean space pushes the viewer and also virtual developer into new territory. The shock of the new tends to create gaps in interpretation, gaps that damage the narrative power of the work. Second, philosophies, elements and styles of some other medium must be employed to bridge the interpretive gap between the Blakean page and the virtual space. Third, this common medium also serves as a philosophical and creative ground to structure the elements of the narrative. Because of this, part of the process of adapting Blake's poetry into three dimensions begins with film and film theory. Cinema is a multileveled experience, an experience that sets a world of Blakean principles in motion.
Film makers accept the mediated nature of their medium. Through shooting, editing and filmic narrative techniques, laws of time/space and the rules of nature bend to the will of the director. The story takes precedence over preserving the reality. Technology allows the filmmaker considerable power to deliver a narrative story. The filmmaker is, within the boundaries of the screen, in complete control of time and space. In contrast, the designer of virtual space is in complete control of space, but not time. Time is in the hands of the viewer. The viewer, through movement, controls the order and pace of the narrative. In this context, a designer of virtual environments uses space to negotiate time with the user. Because of this, every element within the virtual space has a direct or indirect association with time. In realistic looking spaces, pathways and walls directly imprint the designer's concept of time upon a space. The use of boundaries effectively pushes the viewer, while color, sound and animation can be employed to pull the viewer through space. This use of space to push and pull the viewer is, as previously stated, the process through which narrative time is negotiated. On this level, narrative video games and narrative virtual spaces are quite similar.
The break from game theory stems from the fact that underlying game narrative is more often than not a narrow goal of salvation achievable by the correct series of mouse clicks. The generic plot line of three dimensional video games allows for simple, almost filmic, conventions—classical narration schema employ strategies for manipulating the viewer's perspective to fit a limited linear story timeline and story duration featuring unrealistic expanses and compressions of time. Unlike a video game's tightly programmed use of space in support of an excessively obvious plot, Blake's work demands a more open way of thinking about spatializing narrative. Blake deftly jumps through time and space, motivated by the desire to have the viewer discover "the universe in a grain of sand." It is this simple goal, the act of discovery that all the diverse elements of Virtual Crystal Cabinet seek to support. Like Blake's own illustrated pages, the complexity of this act is, in some respects, hidden by the unity of the design.
Unifying and Concluding
The metaphorical, design and theoretical complexity of the Virtual Crystal Cabinet is extensive, yet harmonious. The underlying key is simply visual balance and the application of color in accordance with Japanese Color Theory. Impure, unsaturated colors become moderating tones that serve to segment, balance and harmonize the more brilliant colors that run through-out this project. The primary moderating tones used are a simple combination of warm and cool grays. These harmonousily colored structures are then organized within a circular boundary and through the consistently centerpointed location of narrative elements. In effect, the x,y,z location of the main elements of the story remain the same. They emerge or vanish from the same general location. The manner of their entrance/exit varies, but these variations are in line with the narrative of each stanza. On the other side of the design spectrum, Blake's three-folded vision harmonizes the virtual adaptation. Like Blake's original work, the overarching theme of innocence, experience and regaining one's innocence lies as a conceptual foundation for the work. Multiple levels of the Virtual Crystal Cabinet touch upon this point. The ability to envision virtual space through youthful yet experienced eyes is a requirement for its continued advancement.
The Virtual Crystal Cabinet demonstrates the power of virtual space and the ability to fold meaning and metaphor inside an explorable environment. Finding a philosophical kinship within Blakean perspectives we are able look at the virtual world anew. Finding the future within the past we set a foundation upon an earlier artist, poet, and visionary and set the stage for a greater understanding of the medium. The Virtual Crystal Cabinet is not a game; it is poetry that surrounds, a painting become journey, a realization of the philosophy of William Blake.
The work shown is created in VRML, Virtual Reality Modeling Language. A VRML plugin is required, also the RealPlayer plugin.(Experience with VRML is recommended). It is greatly suggested that if you are unfamiliar with VRML that you explore smaller works first. These can be found on Mr. Guynup's website or on the VRML plugin website. Also note that a web3d help menu is accessible on the lower HTML portion of the Virtual Crystal Cabinet interface
Audio: RealPlayer - <http://www.real.com/>
VRML: Cortona – <http://www.parallelgraphics.com/products/>
Virtual Crystal Cabinet (Contact Version) <http://www.pd.org/~thatguy/crystal_blaxxun/index.html> Virtual Crystal Cabinet (Cortona Version) <http://www.pd.org/~thatguy/crystal/index.html>
Other works by Mr. Guynup <http://www.pd.org/~thatguy>
William Blake — Original Author
The majority of credit must be directed towards the continuing power and visionary legacy of William Blake. We are grateful for the ability to use his work and project it forward into the new virtual media.
Steve Guynup — Artist / Programmer
One of the most controversial developers of virtual spaces in the world, Steve's works confront ideas and issues that represent the bleeding edge of three dimensional design. An eight year veteran in Web3D, he has presented at SIGGRAPH in 1998,1999 and 2000, won awards from Blaxxun and the Contact Consortium, and recently worked with 1996 Ars Electronica winner Andy Best on his Iceborg Project. Currently he is pursing a PhD in Communication at Georgia State University.
Ron Broglio — Project Advisor
An assistant professor in 18th century literature in Georgia Tech's School of Literature, Communication and Culture, Ron is a boundary breaking scholar who uses new media not to reinvent or reinterpret the past, but to reestablish it. He holds a PhD in Romanticism and Literary Theory from the University of Florida and a Masters in British Literature from Boston College.
Kyle Carlson — Blakean Consultant
Teacher, multimedia artist & poet, Kyle holds degrees in both Physics and English Literature. He has an abiding interest in any aspect of technology that can be used to build community.
Thomas Tulis — Photographer
Painter and photographer, has been living in Atlanta for the past six years. His photographs have been shown and sold from the street corners of New York City to its Museums such as the Museum of Modern Art to the Brooklyn Museum and all places in between, at least on the East coast. His paintings, which are the mainstay of his creative-ness, have garnered him no public, critical, or financial support.
Deidre Lynn Curry — Model
Deidre is a long-time player in Atlanta's art scene. A published poet and respected (and occasionally feared) performance artist she takes her art with her where ever she goes. (Usually to the surprise and delight those around her.)
Jah Wobble — Audio <http://www.30hertzrecords.com/about/>
Cast on to the desolate streets of Stepney at 18 and into the nascent Public Image Ltd. (PIL), Jah Wobble was fundamental in shaping the virulent nihilism of punk into sonic and melodic extremes that evoked everything from dub reggae to Stockhausen.
The selections of audio in this project are taken from Wobble's 1996 The Inspiration of William Blake CD. It is best described by Paul Johnson's review of the re-released album in March 2001 for Uncut
Aers, David. “Blake: Sex, Society and Ideology.” Romanticism and Ideology: Studies in English Writing 1765-1830. Eds. I. D. Acers, J. Cook, and D. Punter. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981. 27-43.
Blake, William. The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake. Ed. David Erdman. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1988.
Bordwell, David, J. Staiger and K. Thompson. The Classical Hollywood Cinema. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1985.
Carlson, Kyle & Steve Guynup. “Avatar as Content Delivery Platform.” Future Generation Computer Systems. Volume 17 (2002). 65-71.
Grove, Jonathan & Noel Williams. “Explorations in Virtual History.” IT for Learning Enhancement. M. Monteith. Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger, 1998.
Heim, Michael. “The Avatar and the Power Grid.” Mots Pluriels. Volume 19 (October 2001). http://www.arts.uwa.edu.au/MotsPluriels/MP.html
McGann, Jerome. Radiant Textuality: Literature after the World Wide Web. New York, NY: Palgrave. 2001.
Miller, Dan. “Introduction.” Critical Paths: Blake and the Argument of Method. Eds. Donald Ault, M. Bracher, & D. Miller. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1987. 1-19.
Murray, Janet. (1997). Hamlet on the Holodeck. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1997.
1 All quotations of William Blake are from David Erdman's edition of The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake.