Entre ville

The fun layout attracted me to this piece of Electronic Literature which I found on the umwblogs website. Entre ville, by J.R. Carpenter is a highly interactive piece of digital poetry- it also contains movie clips, photographs and drawings. They are typed and doodled on an electronic piece of notebook paper. I clicked on a pair of garden gloves- a poem appeared in a new box titled Down The Garden Path, which described a venture through the garden and its path. Some accompanied with animated pictures, others photographs. This poem was one of several poems that Carpenter wrote and included in Entre ville.

Entre ville was “commissioned” in 2006 as Carpenters first piece of electronic literature relating to his Montreal, his newly moved to city. He claimed that there were so many different languages and cultural aspects that adapting to it was rather hard and it took him close to 15 years to learn all the vocabulary. Carpenter says, “I refer, rather, to a visual, tactile, aural, sensorial vocabulary. My home office window opens into a jumbled intimacy of back balconies, yards, gardens and alleyways. Daily my dog and I walk through this interior city sniffing out stories. Poetry is not hard to find between the long lines of peeling-paint fences plastered with notices, spray painted with bright abstractions and draped with trailing vines. Entre Ville is a web-based heat-wave poem presented in the vernacular of my neighborhood, where cooking smells, noisy neighbors and laundry lines crisscross the alleyway one sentence at a time.” This sums up the entirety of Entre ville, and what is put into it which makes such a beautiful outcome.

Clicking on “5681” brought me to a Quicktime movie of the fence in front of the home and on the street of painted numbers. Interestingly, there were noises in the background, which sounded like construction. (Whats quicktime?) ALSO- after restarting the website again, the numbers changed. The number 3 is in the right hand corner, illuminated in silver. After clicking, it lead me to even more addresses that played in a video format showing several different street address numbers. I saw this to be the mixing of the apartment complex homes and the different addresses.

As a dog lover, of course I found clicking on the dog to be my favorite part of interaction within Entre ville. I clicked on him, and his stick disappeared. He also turned his head.

A new poem appeared on the notebook paper about the dog:


This is our back alley. This is a walk we walk everyday. It’s a long block. Five minutes from bottom to top. Six if you walk slowly. Seven if you walk as if intent on studying every scent. Eight-and-a-half years if you’re sniffing for stories.

We take other walks besides this one, but lets say we don’t. Lets say our dog walks us up and down this alleyway three times a day. That’s eight-and-a-half- years of down. Nine thousand three hundred laps of toenails clicking on cracked concrete.

Trail zigzagging, long tail wagging, long tongue lolling, dog tags clacking. Ears open, eyes darting, nose to the ground.

These are the first two stanzas from this poem- very descriptive, and I could relate (because I walk my dog everyday while at home) and the descriptive nature provided about the daily walks the dog takes and its journey through life.

Clicking on the windows sketched onto the notebook paper, different views and videos appeared in a Quicktime window. Each window light up a different color. Scenery such as flowers on a window, accompanied with words besides or even within the frame itself appeared as still videos. I would call this a piece of electronic literature WITHIN another piece of electronic literature. (If thats even possible)

Entre ville was very oriented for a first time electronic literature viewer. You had to click and discover new places where words or messages would be contained, rather than words displayed across the screen that you could easily miss (such as Dak0ta where it scrolled too quickly for me). I felt this was very engaging and easy to understand and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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