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20100216 Victory Garden, day 2 (Group 2)

Page history last edited by Brian Croxall 10 years, 9 months ago



We began class by discussing certain themes that we had experienced while reading Victory Garden: multiple lives, criticism of media, a campus as the setting, and the idea of conspiracy throughout.  We also discussed the connection of Victory Garden to Borges's "Garden of Forking Paths" after reading several lexias discussing the short story.  One possible connection is that both stories are multiples of time; perhaps Victory Garden does not loop, but simply multiples itself, as we see in "Garden of Forking Paths" with the repeat scenario of "Albert rose..." The structure of a hypertext was discussed in relation to the story. 


We debated whether the hypertext was more true to life than the traditional novel which is set in a linear progression.  Is Victory Garden actually chaotic, or does it just seem that way becaused we were raised on a linear plane? The idea of linear progresssion brought up McLuhan's theory that the invention of the phonetic alphabet and print has forced our brains to function in linear cognition. The class then attempted to decipher the connection between the different lexias in Victory Garden, and contrasted the idea with how pages are connected in a novel. We came to the conclusion that, in a novel, pages relate to each other simply because of the chronological page numbers. In Victory Garden, however, the lexias are connected by meaning - like a motif, theme, or phrase. In Victory Garden, the meaning seems to weigh more than the chronology. It was also concluded that meaning in Victory Garden can be determined by where the reader has been in the text thus far; reading looped information the second time around may seem different, not because the text has changed, but because the reader has changed.


Word count: 291




"For all that had passed between them, Lucy was her mother and Veronica did love her" ("Our Mother").

"'Okay,' Thea conceded, 'I can deal with it.  I admit it, I'm ancient, I'm old enough to be your mom--probably older'" ("Your Generation").


When reading Victory Garden it oftentimes feels as if we are being scrambled around from one plot to another.  It is difficult to understand that they are all connected in a big web.  These two passages showed us that there are connections between the lexias.  These two happen to be connected through the word "mother."  Although it may be hard to understand why we are being taken to certain lexias, it is comforting to know that they are working together and make us look harder for those connections while reading. 


"'We're linear animals. We're born; we live; we die. That's pretty much inescapable.  We make choices, we take the consequences. As for your hypertexts and multiple simulations, well how nice for you. But what do they mean in the real world?'" ("Plain Enough").


The passage from this lexia exemplifies the notion that we are all linear beings who can't comprehend the seemingly chaotic hypertext. Because we are raised on a linear plane, only being taught how to make sense of things in a linear formation, we view hypertext as incomprehensible. However, is this notion really accurate or is hypertext more true to life? Is hypertext chaotic because we've only been taught to read linearly, or is there some order in the chaos?


Key Terms


achronological: without order or time

anachronological: something present in a time where it shouldn't be

campus novel: novel set around a university

Comments (6)

Emily Burrell said

at 7:04 pm on Feb 17, 2010

Here is a start to the notes. I am not sure how to quote or cite Victory Garden, so you all can check it and see if it looks okay. I only touched on some of the major concepts that we went over in class. I will check back later tonight.

Jocelyn said

at 11:31 pm on Feb 17, 2010

PS - I wanted to cite the lexia "Plain Enough" as a passage, since it deals with us being "linear beings." However, "Victory Garden" is not currently allowing me to jump to different lexias, so I don't have a good way to include the passage.

Emily Burrell said

at 11:43 pm on Feb 17, 2010

Joceylyn, I added the quote from "Plain Enough" so you can add whatever explanation you wanted. See you tomorrow!

Jocelyn said

at 12:38 am on Feb 18, 2010

Thank you, Emily!

Sydney Crawford said

at 5:27 pm on Feb 18, 2010

hey guys i just came by and cleaned stuff up a little bit because I totally forgot yesterday. I may come back later and see if there is anything else helpful in my notes, but I think this looks really good!

Brian Croxall said

at 4:24 pm on Feb 26, 2010

I've just looked at your notes for the second day of Victory Garden--which I apparently forgot to do last week. On the whole, this is a very good representation of the different things we discussed within this class. Your summary covers the discussion that all of you had (without me) on the subject of the text's relation to Borges's story as well as our conversations about the connections between lexias and to what extent we should view the experience of reading VG as chaotic due to how we have been trained to read. You chose two good passages to explicate each of these points and wrote well about them. And you even captured the key terms that I had thrown up on the board.

If I were going to suggest improvements in any way, it would be to ask for a passage that perhaps touched on something that you didn't deal with so completely in your summary. On the other hand, something from the discussion about Borges could have also been a nice addition.

All in all, you've done a good job of boiling down the chaos of the classroom discussion (which is always hypertextual) into a linear document. I hope this exercise is helping you solidify your ideas about some of the texts and concepts that we discuss in class. If it's not, however, I'd be glad to hear about it.

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