Friday, January 7, 2011

sonic enhancements

Another story that lends itself to digital expansion is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" first published in The New England Magazine in 1892. I am composing a hypertext called "rest cure" of Gilman's story and I've come across a surprising number of adaptations and images online related to the text. For example, a YouTube search for the title yields 109 videos people have made about this amazing, insightful and disturbing story and a browsing of these videos may surprise you.

In spite of its generative power, sometimes text is insufficient to generate all the emotion that is present in a story and sound is necessary to reveal it. That's where hypertext comes in. The power of sound is especially evident in Agnes Moorehead's 1948 adaptation of the story (32:24) for Suspense Theater, a popular program on CBS that ran from 1942-1962. If you listen to the whole story, Moorehead will give you the creeps as she portrays the disintegration of Jane's mind. The turmoil in her voice would be difficult to capture in text...