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Judy Malloy, And Speak of Long Ago Times


A pioneer in electronic literature, Judy Malloy followed a vision of hypertextual narrative that she began in the 1970’s with experimental artist books. In the 1980’s, she wrote and programmed the seminal hyperfiction, Uncle Roger. In the ensuing years, she created a series of innovative hypernarratives – including the Eastgate titles its name was Penelope and Forward Anywhere (with Cathy Marshall). Her work has been internationally exhibited and published. In the fall of 2013, she was Visiting Lecturer and Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. She is currently editing a book on Social Media Archeology and Poetics, and she will be team teaching Electronic Literature: Lineage, Theory, and Contemporary Practice in the fall of 2014.

Description of the work

A 21st century art historian confronts the known and the unknown in both his life and his work, as - in a polyphonic 19th century remix - And Speak of Long Ago Times replays the words of 19th century Florentine sculptor Giovanni Duprè; replays Giuseppe Verdi's words from his autobiography that concern his antislavery opera Nabucco; replays the Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper from American Slavery which was published in London in 1837 and went through at least 11 editions. It is 1842. The Irish American sculptor Hiram Powers is in his studio in Florence, creating a model for The Greek Slave. It is the year that Nabucco premiered at La Scala in Milan. The Irish woman poet Frances Browne has just published "Songs of Our Land" in the Irish Penny Journal. Her words echo in 21st century art historian, Liam O’Brien’s, informal translation of the chorus of Hebrew slaves from Nabucco: "Va Pensiero."

I have for many years - since I first told Uncle Roger on Art Com Electronic Network on the WELL in 1986 - been working with the oral literature aspects of telling a story in the Homeric tradition, in an electronic community or "town square" of people seen and unseen on the World Wide Web.  Written with a variation of my fiddlers_passage authoring system, And Speak of Long Ago Times is part VI of the continuing epic work of public literature: From Ireland with Letters

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