digital garden of reflections, hopes and fears


fractal literature

"James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake has been described as many things, from a masterpiece to unreadable nonsense. But it is also, according to scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Poland, almost indistinguishable in its structure from a purely mathematical multifractal." [..] ".. other works most comparable to multifractals, the academics found, were A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar, The USA trilogy by John Dos Passos, The Waves by Virginia Woolf, 2666 by Roberto Bolaño and Joyce’s Ulysses"

[..] Eimear McBride, whose multiple award-winning debut novel A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing is written in a stream-of-consciousness style, said she wasn’t taken aback by the results.

“It doesn’t surprise me that works described as “stream of consciousness” appear to be the most fractal. By its nature, such writing is concerned not only with the usual load-bearing aspects of language – content, meaning, aesthetics, etc – but engages with language as the object in itself, using the re-forming of its rules to give the reader a more prismatic understanding of the subject at hand. Given the long-established connection between beauty and symmetry, finding works of literature fractally quantifiable seems perfectly reasonable.”

stream of consciousness writing

"Stream of consciousness writing itself involves you writing down whatever comes to mind. You don’t try to stop it, edit it, bypass it, judge it or re-phrase it in any other way than how it is coming to you. It is akin to crying, or completely bearing your soul to your most trusted friend and, in this case, the trusted friend is you." –

"The technique involves continuous writing, usually for a predetermined period of time (often five to fifteen minutes). The writer writes without regard to spelling, grammar, etc., and makes no corrections. If the writer reaches a point where they can't think of anything to write, it is presumed they will write that they can't think of anything or repeat words, until they find another line of thought. The writer freely strays off topic, letting thoughts lead where they may. At times, a writer may also do a focused freewrite, letting a chosen topic structure their thoughts. Expanding from this topic, the thoughts may stray to make connections and create more abstract views on the topic. This technique helps a writer explore a particular subject before putting ideas into a more basic context.

Freewriting is often done on a daily basis as a part of the writer's daily routine. Also, students in many writing courses are assigned to do such daily writing exercises.

The writing does not have to be done with pen and paper. A technique known as Freeblogging combines blogging with free-writing with the rules changed so that the writer does not stop typing for long periods of time. The end result may or may not be shared with the public." [..]

Give yourself a time limit. Write for one or ten or twenty minutes, and then stop. Keep your hand moving until the time is up. Do not pause to stare into space or to read what you've written. Write quickly but not in a hurry. Pay no attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, neatness, or style. Nobody else needs to read what you produce here. The correctness and quality of what you write do not matter; the act of writing does. If you get off the topic or run out of ideas, keep writing anyway. If necessary, write nonsense or whatever comes into your head, or simply scribble: anything to keep the hand moving. If you feel bored or uncomfortable as you're writing, ask yourself what's bothering you and write about that. When the time is up, look over what you've written, and mark passages that contain ideas or phrases that might be worth keeping or elaborating on in a subsequent free-writing session. Goldberg's rules appear to be based on those developed by Jack Kerouac, whom she cites several times. Kerouac developed 30 "rules" in his Belief & Technique for Modern Prose.[11] While Kerouac's "rules" are elliptical and even cryptic for beginning writers, they are more comprehensive than Goldberg's for those who have practised prose writing for some time. Kerouac supplemented these with his Essentials of Spontaneous Prose,[12] and together they form the basis of his prose writing method, a form of narrative stream of consciousness. Kerouac himself cites the "trance writing" of William Butler Yeats as a precursor of his own practice.[12]

Goldberg's rules, which are infused with the study and practice of Zen Buddhism, make the process of free writing more accessible for a beginner and are perhaps less extreme than those of Kerouac, although they are still tinged with an element of mysticism." – Wikipedia: Free writing