The Mujō Novel

Here’s the thing- with the internet, and bits and bytes, everything becomes permanent, unchangeable, all copies of a work the same thing, the same work. Where is there value in such a thing? How can we see the entropic decay on a work of pixels, stored in datamines?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Perfect replication. Lack of scarcity. With digital books there is no such thing as the hunt for a value or a tome, there is no mystery of discovery. You click, you buy, you read. The experience is flattened. The emotional response towards decay, towards change and death is removed from the text itself.

So, I’m toying with this autogenerated novel idea. Except, it’s not exactly autogenerated, I mean each version will be different, will be singular. But it’s not a random collection of things, but instead a sort of transience. They will have order of sorts, pieces of sorts, things of sorts. But each will be unique, each will be completely different. It is the cut up as mono no aware, the expression of the novel as something imperfect, flawed, dying, unique and individual.

Each person who reads it will read and experience something else, something completely different. Sure, you could share your copy, but do you wish to share a piece of yourself? A part of your memory? The electronic text becomes a graveyard of experiences then. A friend suggested I create a community around the experience the work generates, for people to share and discuss their own versions of the novels. I think this might be an interesting idea.

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