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A New Kind of Reading Experience

aseidman's picture

In order for this to work properly, you'll have to do the following.

Click on each link on this page.

When you arrive at the page to which that link sends you, download the file available on that page.

I recognize that the downloads are slow, but they do work! I am in the process of trying to make the downloads faster as we speak.

After you have downloaded all four files, open the filed called "reading experience.wav" and follow the instructions that you hear. It'll be fun!




Anne Dalke's picture

Performing...and Chuckling


I really ought to have made an audio tape for you of my response to your experiment: you would have heard me chuckling throughout, generally @ the VERY clever form this project has taken (perfectly fit to its claim and content), and @ specific moments as well, where you (for example) correct something you said in class, acknowledging that the OED definition of "reading" doesn't require a bound book; or admit that our definitions of what counts as "reading" are purely habitual and so elitist; or where you take on the challenge of reading Conan Doyle's text, and then of performing the voices of Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes (I much preferred the former, by the way; the latter was too, well, melodramatic for my taste: I do prefer the sounds of my own mind to that of the performer!)

The surprise you offered @ the end--the text version of the whole--was even more surprising than you might have imagined, because it didn't transcribe seamlessly; my txt version was filled with all sorts of nonsensical characters
( Thatís right, I said ìreading.î ). Hilariously (given your topic), it looks as though there's a "translation" problem between your software and mine, which results in a "misinterpretation" of your intentions .... Computer language differs, of course, from natural language, in aiming for NO slippage a'tall, but...! didn't happen.

What I learned from this experiment is that it is much more pleasurable (and convincing) to hear the sound of my student's voice reading her work, than to read it in textual form, but that (as you predicted) I actually do prefer a "reading" to a "performance"--there's far too much interpretation (to my taste) in the latter.

The other thing I learned is what you are learning: that the technical requirements for this sort of experiment can be a little tricky to manage. I downloaded the files, as instructed, and paused, as instructed, but whenever I returned to the original tape, it re-started, and I couldn't seem to control where the narrative picked up. Those are details for future fiddling, but for now: BRAVO! an experiment well worth making.

Thanks for so much playing (in ALL senses of the term...)

P.S. Don't miss  Herbie's essay on "Snobby, Pretentious Books," which places your "new kind of reading experience" in a very striking historical perspective.