Facebook Posts: May 2009

May 2009

MAY 31
Scott updated his status.
cracking Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. Nothing says summer to me like a big fat novel and a bit of time to read it.
MAY 30
Scott updated his status.
back home in Chicago, finally got a good evening’s sleep, though I was up before the crows. Relaxing with friends family and all the Rettberg babies for the next two weeks.
MAY 28
Scott wrote on Laura Borràs’s timeline.
Laura, Just watched the TV show. What a fantastic presentation of e-lit, and what a wonderful conference epoetry festival you put on in Barcelona! You should be extremely proud of the event and the work that you and your team put into it. I know that you will find a way to keep developing the field of electronic literature and the major center of activity you have established in Catalonia. Now make sure you get some vacation time in this summer, and don’t even bring your laptop. You have earned it. Thanks so much for your work on this and all your projects.
Scott shared a link.

Grand Text Auto showcases electronic literature, interactivity at Krannert Art Museum | The Daily Il
www.dailyillini.com
Scott shared a link.

Riots in Spain as more than 100 Barcelona fans arrested as they celebrate VICTORY in Champions Leagu
www.dailymail.co.uk
We were three blocks from this last night — luckily we were hosting a party up safely on the roof of the flat where we were staying, a block off the Passeig de Gracia. The party ended up going later than intended because of the madness that ensued when Barca won the cup. We heard the volley of gunshots, and saw hundreds of people running on the streets below. I hope everybody got home alright.
Scott wrote on Stacey Platko Tatem’s timeline.
Stacey, Thanks for the wonderful presents. Jessie loves them. We just got home from Barcelona and opened them up. Jessie’s playing with the picnic basket right now. She loves the little ice cream. Love to the Tyler Rose and Jake.
Scott updated his status.
Back in Bergen for 10 hours, then flying to Chicago. Barcelona was fantastic, even after the pickpocket and the soccer riot.
MAY 26
Scott updated his status.
Barcelona is great, except for the pickpockets who hit us on the train last night. Jill’s wallet is now funding drug purchases.
MAY 24
Scott updated his status.
whipping up a storm of tapas for our party.
Scott updated his status.
likes the facebook ads in Barcelona better than the facebook ads in Norway.
MAY 23
Scott updated his status.
Frequency is now as ready as it is going to be for E-Poetry, though my paper on the Last Performance is still a couple of late nights away from ready. Can’t believe I’m sitting in front of a computer writing instead of at the beach.
MAY 22
Scott updated his status.
iberico sandwich, las ramblas, beach, seafood paella, sangria.
MAY 21
Scott updated his status.
is in Barcelona until the 28th of May.
Scott updated his status.
Sometimes I feel bad about being a pain in the ass for editors. Other times I want to sign editors up for editing classes, if only to remind them that editing is an activity.
MAY 20
Scott wrote on Megan Rettberg Smith’s timeline.
Happy birthday to Mason James from the Norway Rettbergs. Great shots from your photographer friend. He looks like a little boy model.
Scott updated his status.
baby music class, art exhibition, lunch, take the baby back home, then office, home, bed, get up, pack, back to the office, home, airport, Barcelona.
Scott shared a link.

The Believer – Shelley Jackson talks with Vito Acconci
www.believermag.com
Shelley Jackson and Vito Acconi talk writing, bodies, and public space.
MAY 19
Scott shared a link.

Your Money – A Consumer’s Guide to the New Credit Card Rules – NYTimes.com
www.nytimes.com
The credit card bill covers about five things that have driven me nuts for years. I’m impressed with how many specific irritating practices the Senate has managed to address. Great to see Congress getting things done that regular people actually care about.
Scott updated his status.
is looking forward to e-poetry in Barcelona, though I wish my piece and paper were ready. We leave Thursday.
Scott updated his status.
the avian swine flu is improbable.
MAY 18
Scott updated his status.
needs more time.
MAY 17
Scott updated his status.
Go Norway! Gratulerer med dagen.
MAY 15
Scott wrote on Jeff Lemberger’s timeline.
The birth as critical illness stuff is uplifting Jeff. Sorry about the status change. How do I arrange for you to cook dinner? We’ll be in town in a couple of weeks. I want to see if you’ve really got cooking chops, or if you just took pictures of other people’s food.
Scott shared a link.

DHQ: Digital Humanities Quarterly: Communitizing Electronic Literature
www.digitalhumanities.org
Here is a preview edition of my essay “Communitizing Electronic Literature,” coming out in Digital Humanities Quarterly. I spent a lot of time last year working on this essay, it is a sort of manifestoish article about the institutional state of electronic literature. The “preview” status means you can help — if you read it and spot any errors, factual or grammatical, please let me know.
Scott updated his status.
Sold! over takst, down payment on the new place covered.
Scott updated his status.
4 bids in! Looks like our place will sell tonight. Not up to our price yet, but close.
MAY 14
Scott updated his status.
thinks the fact that Pfizer is giving free Viagra to unemployed Americans is the seed of a short story that someone must write.
Scott wrote on Dorene Probst’s timeline.
Happy birthday, Dorene. Many happy returns on the day.
Scott updated his status.
25 people showed up at the open house. Let the bidding begin. Big money, big money, no whammies!
Scott wrote on Pre-E-Poetry Get Together’s timeline.
Note that this won’t be a virtual event — more of an in-person snacking and talking type of thing.
Scott updated his status.
Oy! looks like it might rain for our showing today.
MAY 13
Scott updated his status.
is now sporting a transitional goatee.
Scott updated his status.
figuring out life and property insurance.
Scott shared a link.

Great OS for babies? – Boing Boing
www.boingboing.net
MAY 12
Scott updated his status.
just took the “what philosopher are you?” quiz and the result is “you are not a philosopher, dumbass.”
Scott updated his status.
coffee at Landmark, working towards working.
Scott shared a link.

Tokyo Garage
www.youtube.com
Here is a reading of my generated poem “Tokyo Garage” (http://retts.net/tokyogarage.html) performed by a virtual clown in Beijing.
MAY 11

Scott shared an event.

Pre E-Poetry Get-together
May 24, 2009 at 1:00pm
Barcelona, Miro VI Duplex
You went
Scott shared a link.

who is amy
whoisamy.wordpress.com
Scott updated his status.
supports the extraordinary rendition of Dick Cheney to a war crimes tribunal in an undisclosed location. That man should be spending his retirement in a dignified way, recreationally hunting somewhere in Texas with other members of the Bush administration
Scott wrote on Kendra Shedenhelm’s timeline.
Happy Birthday, Kendra. Have a lovely one.
MAY 10
Scott updated his status.
Happy mothers day to all my favorite moms.
Scott updated his status.
back from Oslo, great seminar. I like hanging out with artists.
MAY 9
Scott shared a link.

HC Gilje switchboard
www.bek.no
HC Gilje is a Bergen-based video/multimedia stuff who does excellent work. The iBall project is awesome.
Scott shared a link.

errant bodies | brandon labelle
www.errantbodies.org
Interesting sound art projects, good sense of humor.
Scott shared a link.

Michelle Teran / Ubermatic / Projects
www.ubermatic.org
Cool projects by Michelle Teran, including “parasitic cinema” — guerilla outdoor projection of indoor surveillance cameras on the outside of the buildings being surveilled, and a bus tour visiting youtube performers.
Scott shared a link.

I am Senis Besmegenis
senisbesmegenis.blogspot.com
Senisbesmegenis, blog project by a Bergen artist who has composed 20.5 blogs based on different categories of things he has seen on the streets of his neighborhood in Bergen. Duchampian and silly.
Scott wrote on Ryan Burns’s timeline.
Hey happy birthday man. Good to see you, and glad that you’ll be instructing 2nd graders in the ways of modern manufacturing.
MAY 7
Scott updated his status.
is in Oslo.
MAY 6
Scott shared a link.

BUU: Bureau for Unstable Urbanism: Cities Re-imagined – announcement
b4uu.blogspot.com
I’ll be showing and talking about Implementation at the Cities Re-imagined seminar at Altier Nord in Oslo this weekend. Looks like it will be an interesting gathering of artists, architects, writers, and academics focused on “unstable urbanism.” Looking forward.
Scott updated his status.
should probably be preparing for the Unstable Urbanism seminar I’m leaving for tomorrow after the meeting with assessor and the photographer and the meeting with the bank tomorrow. Buying and selling real estate is a distracting process.
Scott updated his status.
signed the contracts on the new place today.
MAY 5
Scott shared a link.

Digital lit: How technology is changing what we read
www.computerworld.com
Scott updated his status.
concocted a masala, garlic, cardamom, brown goat cheese sauce that was delicious over cauliflower.
MAY 4
Scott wrote on Joseph Tabbi’s timeline.
Have a happy one.
Scott shared a link.

Essay – Bad Eating Makes for Good Reading – NYTimes.com
www.nytimes.com
Nice piece on food in literature.
Scott wrote on Paul Rettberg’s timeline.
Happy Birthday to Ryan from the Norway Rettbergs. Jessica can’t wait to play with her fellow big kid.
MAY 3
Scott updated his status.
is painting.

Scott updated his status.
spring cleaning so that we can sell our flat.
MAY 1
Scott updated his status.
1:45pm
is cleaning out my closets.

Facebook Posts: April 2009

April 2009

APRIL 28
Scott shared a link.

FINN eiendom – Norges største eiendomsmarked. Søk blant hus og leiligheter, og finn din nye bolig.
www.finn.no
Our new place, as of August 1, 2009.
Scott updated his status.
just spent more money on one item than I have spent on all other items in my life combined. But happy to have a new home.
Scott updated his status.
put in a bid on a new place this afternoon, and is hoping for the best.
Scott updated his status.
knows that there is nothing funny about swine flu but can’t help but wish they would use some other more deadly serious latin name involving “ococous” instead though that might be putting lipstick on a pig rather than making a purse out of a sow’s ear wh
APRIL 27
Scott wrote on William Gillespie’s timeline.
Thanks! Makes me wanna writea newspoem.
Scott wrote on Amy Kallio’s timeline.
The girls look adorable.
Scott updated his status.
Bank errors are never in my favor.
Scott wrote on Brad Bessemer’s timeline.
Hey Brad — great to see you, looking well.
Scott wrote on Matthew Rettberg’s timeline.
Happy Birthday. I was thinking of you in Amsterdam.
Scott updated his status.
tried Indonesian food and liked it.
APRIL 23
Scott updated his status.
is considering upcoming weekend in Amsterdam. Is there any art exhibition or event I should see while I’m there?
APRIL 22
Scott updated his status.
Relieved that the wall repair is fairly minor after all, no deadly mold lurking behind the drywall.
APRIL 21
Scott shared a link.

Vagant
vagant.no
Got my copies of Vagant 2009:1 in the mail yesterday, and the magazine looks great. Including my piece “Ord som kan lyse opp et mørkt rom: Om elektronisk litteratur” as well as a number of other interesting articles, including handwritten death-metal lyrics, a Norwegian translation of a portion of Finnegan’s Wake, and other literary notions. Well worth a read if you read norsk.
Scott shared a link.

Grand Text Auto » Krannert Art Museum Grand Text Auto Exhibit
grandtextauto.org
Krannert Museum Grand Text Auto exhibit opened this week. The Unknown, Implementation, and Frequency are included. If you’re in the Champaign/Urbana area anytime now through July, stop in an visit it. I’m hoping to pop in and see it sometime in early June.
APRIL 20
Scott updated his status.
is not pleased to learn that the bedroom wall needs to be torn out and replaced, leaving the family homeless from Wednesday through the weekend.
Scott updated his status.
Finally working on my E-poetry essay, and booked swank pad in Barcelona.
APRIL 19
Scott updated his status.
is celebrating Jessica’s first birthday!
APRIL 18
Scott updated his status.
loves being able to watch cubs game live from Norway on MLB.com.

APRIL 16
Scott wrote on Jill Walker Rettberg’s timeline.
Drop me a line once you’re online. Your daughter and I want to know that you’ve arrived safely.
Scott updated his status.
Back in Bergen after 9 days with family and friends in the UK, though Jill is off to Italy tomorrow. Looking forward to some time with Jessica and Maestro, even though I’ll miss my sweetie.
APRIL 6
Scott updated his status.
Offline in the UK until the 15th.
APRIL 5
Scott updated his status.
is leaving Maestro in the care of loving neighbors to go meet Jessie’s Grandma, Grandpa, and Grandma in England.
APRIL 4
Scott updated his status.
is preparing for the first BBQ of spring.
Scott updated his status.
horrified by the ruinous passage of time.
APRIL 3
Scott updated his status.
is bummed about a sick cat.
Scott wrote on Mark Marino’s timeline.
Hey, workstudyseth, markcmarino here, phoned my buddy Scott in Norway so he could type this message for me and the the message is — get out while you still can. You are one toasted work study if you keep it up. I will have you blackballed.
Scott updated his status.
is happy to hear that I will receive a small grant from the Norwegian government’s artist’s fund in support of my creative work. This is the first time I’ve gotten state funding for my own work in electronic literature.
Scott updated his status.
is home recovering from the Nordic Digital Culture network meeting.

Facebook Posts: March 2009

March 2009
MARCH 31
Scott shared a link.

The New Storytelling: Multimedia Children’s Publishing – 3/30/2009 – Publishers Weekly
www.publishersweekly.com
Scott wrote on Rachel Self Rettberg’s timeline.
Happy birthday to Jeepers! Did he get the presents?
MARCH 30
Scott wrote on Kyle Rettberg’s timeline.
I did and she was really cute though her last name is escaping me for the moment. I need a yearbook.
Scott shared a link.

Intro to E-Lit: How Electronic Literature Makes Printed Literature Richer » Quarterly Conversation
quarterlyconversation.com
Hey just ran across this — one of my former students published a review of Katherine Hayle’s Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary in The Quarterly Conversation. It’s detailed, discursive and smart. Way to go, William!
Scott updated his status.
reise til Sverige.
MARCH 29
Scott updated his status.
finally finished the piece for Drunken Boat. Sending off files for GTA show and then packing for trip to Sweden.
Scott shared a link.

Robert Coover
www.writing.upenn.edu
A brilliant set of recordings of Robert Coover reading at the Kelly Writer’s house at Penn University, February 2009. Especially worth a listen: “In Anticipation of the Question Why Do You Write?'”
MARCH 28
Scott updated his status.
is struggling to finish a piece for Drunken Boat, months past deadline.
MARCH 27
Scott updated his status.
is laying plans for nordic digital culture.
MARCH 26
Scott updated his status.
thinks John (A. Boehner) is an appropriately named Republican from Ohio.
Scott wrote on Mark Marino’s timeline.
Right now you look like some dorky transparent guy with a cowlick.
Scott wrote on Mark Marino’s timeline.
Mark do you mind posting a photo of yourself on your profile again so that we know that you are really you?
Scott updated his status.
actually likes some of my friends who I don’t know and other friends who I don’t know I’m not sure if I like them or not because I don’t know them, you know?
MARCH 25
Scott updated his status.
kinda pissed off about a broken email server.
Scott shared a link.

Frequency Generated Poems
retts.net
I put together this collection of 2000 poems generated by Frequency for the Grand Text Auto exhibition that will open April 14 at the Krannert Art Museum.
Scott updated his status.
is 2000 poems later.
MARCH 23
Scott updated his status.
is generating poetry for an exhibition.
MARCH 22
Scott wrote on Mark Marino’s timeline.
Where are you man? Marino is a slavedriver.
Scott updated his status.
is sure the Lazer tag toy would be a big hit with the nephews, but doubtful their mother would approve.
Scott updated his status.
hanging with fam before Jill’s Grandad’s funeral. Sad occasion but great to reconnect with Ken’s progeny.
MARCH 20
Scott updated his status.
is cooking dinner for fam then going to see The Thing with Rasmussen.
Scott shared a link.
Wired Campus: No Time to Twitter? Hire a Work-Study Assistant (or Pretendto) – Chronicle.com
chronicle.com
Scandal. Intrepid reporter uncovers Professor Marino’s facebook/twitter fiction hijinks.
Scott shared a link.

3by3by3
3by3by3.blogspot.com
Cool constrained newspoetry site I have sometimes contributed to.

Scott wrote on Andrew Hutchison’s timeline.
chin chin! Have another great year.
Scott shared a link.

Things I have learned in my life so far
thingsihavelearnedinmylife.com
MARCH 19
Scott shared a link.

Obamas Prepare to Plant White House Vegetable Garden – NYTimes.com
www.nytimes.com
Go Obamas. I miss my New Jersey vegetable garden. We grow some strawberries, rosemary, and sage in our little patch of Norway, but tomatoes don’t get enough sun and the damned Iberian slugs eat everything else we plant.
Scott updated his status.
is revising proofs of articles in Digital Humanities Quarterly and Vagant, both coming out shortly.
Scott updated his status.
‘s daughter is teething.
Scott wrote on Mark Marino’s timeline.
hilarious
Scott updated his status.
is probably in bed.
MARCH 18
Scott shared a link.
Tokyo Garage
retts.net
This here is a total remix of the classic and elegant generated nature poem Tokoro Gorge by Nick Montfort. He wrote the code. I hacked the words.
MARCH 17
Scott updated his status.
Corned beef and cabbage.
MARCH 16
Scott updated his status.
is off grocery shopping with a milkdrunk baby.
Scott shared a link.

Anthropology Program at Kansas State University – Wesch
ksuanth.weebly.com
Jill and I just had lunch with Michael Wesch, the ethnographer / YouTube anthropologist behind “The Machine Is/Us” and other compelling projects.
Scott shared a link.

Op-Ed Columnist – The Culture Warriors Get Laid Off – NYTimes.com
www.nytimes.com
How common sense and pragmatism during a time of economic hardship have sucked the wind from the intolerant campaigns of the religious right.
MARCH 15
Scott updated his status.
has a backache.
Scott wrote on Amy Kallio’s timeline.
Gratulerer med dagen!
Scott wrote on Megan Rettberg Smith’s timeline.
Hi Megan, I’m in a cafe getting a little work done, and Jill and Jessie are at Suzie’s. But send our love to everybody. You just missed them. We went on a tour of the Rainbow Warrior Greenpeace ship and then grabbed lunch in town.
Scott wrote on Rachel Self Rettberg’s timeline.
Happy Birthday, Rachel. I hope you are having a lovely one. I’ll take you out for Kampai, along with Eric and Megan and other people whose birthday I am missing while stranded in Norway, when we are back in June.
MARCH 14
Scott updated his status.
says there is of a sudden a mass profusion of crapplication output on my facebook page.
Scott updated his status.
is teaching his poetry generator to write concrete poetry.
MARCH 13
Scott updated his status.
thinks that asking everyone what is on their minds is going to totally screw the sentence structure of status messages on facebook.
Scott shared a link.
Science For Idiots
www.webyarns.com
Very amusing webyarn fom Alan Bigelow, about science.
Scott updated his status.
wonders how a baby who didn’t get up until noon could be zonked on my lap right now. Is Mommy doping the milk?
Scott updated his status.
is pretty happy with UiB right now — Jill and I both got our research funding proposals approved.
Scott updated his status.
on page 576 of Shadow Country, wondering if he has lost the ability to sustain immersion in 900 page novels.
MARCH 12
Scott updated his status.
is alone in the office, working away.
Scott wrote on Chuck Rybak’s timeline.
oh I changed the name of the file, so the instructions in the comments of the top are wrong. To run in in terminal, you would cd to whatever directory the file is in and then type ruby frequency_pgnew
Scott wrote on Chuck Rybak’s timeline.
Yep. I decided after teaching courses about computers and digital culture for the past seven years, it’s time I learn how to do a little bit of programming.
Scott wrote on Chuck Rybak’s timeline.
Chuck — I just emailed you the file. If you have a Mac, you can run the program from Terminal. Otherwise, if you open it in any text editor, you should be able to get an idea of how it works.
Scott updated his status.
is about to eat a grilled cheese, fried egg, olive and tomato sandwich.
Scott wrote on Eric Dean Rasmussen’s timeline.
I owe you an asskicking.
Scott updated his status.
is like a Turner landscape of a foggy river.
Scott wrote on Chuck Rybak’s timeline.
Do you teach in Manitowoc? I painted a house there once,
Scott wrote on Giovanna Di Rosario’s timeline.
Jessica will be there of course.
Scott wrote on Jared Simon’s timeline.
Jared — ditto to you on the kids. Looks like your wife is improving your gene pool.
MARCH 11
Scott wrote on William Vincent Crumley’s timeline.
Hey now, this is a family website. Don’t give Rohit any ideas.

Just kidding. I would pay Rohit to babysit and I have taught my daughter knife skills.
Scott wrote on Kevin Nylen’s timeline.
Thanks for the thank you card — hope you guys are enjoying your matrimony.
Scott updated his status.
likes spotify.com
Scott updated his status.
booked tickets for Barcelona in May.
Scott updated his status.
is irritated that the flight that he tried to book last night is now gone.
Scott updated his status.
is watching the baby dance.
Scott updated his status.
is doing that thing where you book travel on the computer and the travel site suddenly logs you out right after you are almost done and you say #$%!ing @#)!
MARCH 10
Scott updated his status.
Scott midway through impromptu international film festival. Swedish vampires, Russian secret police, French lovers
Scott wrote on Stacey Platko Tatem’s timeline.
Nice pics of the kids. They’ve got their own golf cart/tractor thing? Awesome! I didn’t get to drive until I was 15.
Scott updated his status.
is drinking a latte and whipping up some code.
Scott wrote on Alexa Fenske Hackett’s timeline.
Babyswimming is a blast. Jessie loves it. My wife comes too. She’s been going since she was 4 months old.
MARCH 9
Scott updated his status.
is off to babyswimming.
Scott shared a link.
THRU YOU | Kutiman mixes YouTube
thru-you.com
Awesome you tube remixes. Thanks, Simon.
Scott updated his status.
‘s travel funding for ePoetry in Barcelona came through. Yay for the Meltzer Foundation!
Scott shared a link.
www.vagant.no
www.vagant.no
Vagant — an excellent Norwegian lit/crit mag. I’ve got a piece on elit coming out in the next number, and they’ve done me the great favor of a careful translation.
MARCH 8
Scott shared a link.
GOOD COPY BAD COPY
www.goodcopybadcopy.net
Great documentary about filesharing and remix culture.
Scott updated his status.
snuck into the office for a few hours but will soon return home to cook for hungry wife.
Scott shared a link.

Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar – Filthy Fluno – NYTimes.com
www.nytimes.com
Art in Second Life.
Scott shared a link.

The bogus GOP claim that Obama is making war on the rich. – By Daniel Gross – Slate Magazine
www.slate.com
Scott updated his status.
is learning about yet another fantastic benefit of paying high taxes to Norway.
Scott updated his status.
saw the word “Marxian” in the NYT today and is contemplating the distinction between “Marxist” and “Marxian.”
Scott updated his status.
is catching up on rock geek chic.
MARCH 7
Scott updated his status.
is grateful for his siblings, without whom he would a complete loser at Scrabble.
Scott wrote on Mike Rettberg’s timeline.
Hope you’re eating some cake and not immediately throwing it up. Happy BDay!
Scott wrote on Ha Rothenberg’s timeline.
May you enjoy the onset of oldness, my friend.
MARCH 6
Scott updated his status.
is tweaking a twit for his moblog.
Scott updated his status.
wonders why the caged bird twitters.
Scott updated his status.
may soon twit.
Scott updated his status.
is also wondering if those who twitter are twits, or if they are twitterers or tweeters.
Scott updated his status.
thinks twitter messages should be referred to as “twits,” though wife insists that they are referred as “tweets.” Defies sense of logic and symmetria.
Scott wrote on Irina Rasmussen Goloubeva’s timeline.
Gratulerer med dagen!
Scott updated his status.
is feeding Jessica milk, fighting her for control of the keyboard, and listening to Trout Fishing in America.
MARCH 5
Scott updated his status.
firefox upgrade wiped out my bookmarks.
Scott updated his status.
is making BBQ ribs.
Scott wrote on Robert Dolan’s timeline.
Hey Bob, good to see you sober on facebook. We’ll be in town this summer — first couple of weeks of June. Maybe Stuart can throw a little party in that famous basement.
MARCH 4
Scott updated his status.
is cursing inconstant servers.
MARCH 3
Scott updated his status.
‘s baby girl just peed all over the couch.
Scott shared a link.

Sony Releases Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn’t Fucking Work
www.youtube.com
Hilarious.
Scott shared a link.
poetryfoundation.org
poetryfoundation.org
A poet in the forefront of the field explores what is—and is not—electronic literature.

by Stephanie Strickland
MARCH 2
Scott updated his status.
wonders what happens when the whole world goes completely broke at the same time. Do we become more neighborly, or eat each other?
Scott shared a link.
www.cies.org
www.cies.org
Fulbright in American Lit at the University of Bergen.
Scott shared a link.
– IS
www.forskningsradet.no
Funding opportunity for PhD students and recent PhDs from European countries to have a research stay in Norway.
Scott shared a link.
North America – IS
www.forskningsradet.no
Funding opportunity for researchers in US to have a research stay in Norway.
MARCH 1
Scott wrote on Kyle Rettberg’s timeline.
light blue – doub letter, dark blue – trip letter, pink — doub word, red — trip word.
Scott shared a link.

Scott Rettberg – Poker Player Profile
www.pokerpages.com
Scott “ICEBERG” Rettberg — my poker playing Southern California google doppelganger.
Scott updated his status.
just realized he can play Scrabble on FB again, using Lexulous, which was Scrabulous.
Scott updated his status.
is messing around with his poetry generator.

Facebook Posts: Feb 2009

February 2009

FEBRUARY 28
Scott wrote on Blake Christiansen’s timeline.
Sorry about that Blake. I got the same message and clicked on the link, which then apparently unleashed a flood of spam. Malware.
Scott updated his status.
if you get a message that I reported your profile, ignore it and DON’T CLICK on the link. It spams everyone of your friends (sorry about that). Bastards.
Scott updated his status.
did not report anyone’s profile. There is malware at work.
Scott shared a link.
Catinthehat
Unknown Artist – Unknown Album
Catinthehat
retts.net
The latest in the Dr. Seuss Garage Band series of Saturday amusements.
Scott shared a link.
Weekend Opinionator: Has Obamanomics Vanquished Reaganomics? – The Opinionator Blog – NYTimes.com
opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com
Interesting discussion of Obama’s budget, from across the political spectrum. Most interesting are the last two sections, where conservative leaders admit that Republicans are short in the ideas department, “I’ve been wandering around CPAC today, and I have to say I find a lot of it rather depressing. There’s a whole lot of talk about strategy and getting the message out (especially through Twitter and Facebook), but surprisingly little about what the message ought to be.” Another notes that the star of the conservative CPAC (the Republican brain trust) gathering is none other than Joe the Plumber.
Scott updated his status.
has officially caught the bug from the girls.
FEBRUARY 26
Scott updated his status.
‘s baby girl has her first tooth.
FEBRUARY 25
Scott wrote on Chuck Stoebig’s timeline.
I was never deposed, my little friend. As I recall, I was still the CZAR at the end of the game, in spite of your sinister efforts. How’s it goin, man? Good to hear from you.
Scott updated his status.
is happy the baby appeared to be over the sick, looking forward to getting out of the house tomorrow.
FEBRUARY 24
Scott updated his status.
is making chicken noodle soup for the sick girls.
Scott updated his status.
really wants to shower and put on clean clothes but can’t figure out how to remove the sleeping sick baby from my chest.
Scott updated his status.
‘s shirt is serving as a snotrag for a sick baby girl.
Scott updated his status.
is home with two sick girls.
FEBRUARY 24
Scott updated his status.
wrote a poetry generator.
Scott updated his status.
says Dow and Jones can shove it up their index.
FEBRUARY 22
Scott updated his status.
is learning how to program.
Scott wrote on Megan Rettberg Smith’s timeline.
sure — do you have a username on iChat? — You can also use your AIM, Jabber, or GoogleTalk username. Just open iChat and go to Preferences and enter your username and then tell me what it is. I’m Scott Rettberg (rettberg@mac.com)
Scott updated his status.
favors the term “pretty bad depression” over the term “greater depression” in discussions of the global economy.
Scott wrote on February 26th’s timeline.
I totally plan to be alive on this date, doing something.
Scott wrote on Adam Rettberg’s timeline.
Pre-congrats to both of you! Batten down the hatches.
FEBRUARY 21
Scott updated his status.
is glad most of the slushy snow has gone away with the rain.
FEBRUARY 20
Scott updated his status.
is goin to the fjords with Lauren.
FEBRUARY 17
Scott updated his status.
gives facebook permission to publish my uncollected status messages, provided the volume has good production values and I get a decent budget for the tour.
Scott updated his status.
gives facebook permission to do whatever the hell they want with my Dr. Seuss recordings.
Scott updated his status.
is sick of slushy snow.
FEBRUARY 16
Scott shared a link.
retts.net
retts.net
Fox in Socks — more Dr. Seuss Garage Band tomfoolery.
Scott updated his status.
saw Waltz with Bashir — great movie.
Scott wrote on Jennifer Beardsley’s timeline.
Gratulerer med dagen!
Scott shared a link.

Recipes – Tangerine Sherbet – NYTimes.com
www.nytimes.com
Made this last night — tasty.
Scott updated his status.
made some tasty tangerine sherbet,
Scott updated his status.
is pumpin for Jill.
FEBRUARY 14
Scott updated his status.
totally enjoyed burning through some kroner on an exquisite four course Valentine’s dinner with Jill last night (alone–thanks, babysitter Suzie!).
Martin Arvebro posted a link to your timeline.

Eef Barzelay – “I Love The Unknown” from Rocket Science
www.youtube.com
FEBRUARY 13
Scott wrote on Eric Rettberg’s timeline.
Dude, I just clicked on your wall and there is advertisement in Norwegian for back hair removal. I’m not sure what kind of intelligence these facebook people have about the hairy backs of Rettberg man, but I’m frightened. I am also ambivalent about writing. Now go write.
Scott updated his status.
is catching up on a little work.
Scott wrote on Frank Marquardt’s timeline.
Gratulerer med dagen!
Scott updated his status.
thinks Judd Gregg is a better name for a Bazooka comic strip character than a Commerce Secretary anyway.
FEBRUARY 12
Scott updated his status.
is eating a tasty baked good.
Scott updated his status.
wishes Abraham Lincoln would have ducked.
Scott updated his status.
would wish Darwin a happy birthday, if the dude were alive.
Scott wrote on Cyrus Cramer’s timeline.
A little scotch around bedtime seems to help with the screaming (that is, you should drink the scotch, not give it to the baby).
Scott wrote on Marion Walker’s timeline.
Happy Birthday to you!
Scott wrote on Cyrus Cramer’s timeline.
Hey Cy, great to see you. Congrats again on fatherhood. Like your profile picture. Something about it reminds me of having to go see the assistant principal.
FEBRUARY 11
Scott updated his status.
is about to tackle January deadlines.
FEBRUARY 10
Scott wrote on Dorene Probst’s timeline.
Thanks — Cute picture of you and your girl too!
Scott wrote on Eric Rettberg’s timeline.
Happy Birthday, EJ! Dinner at Kampai on me the next time we’re both in town.
FEBRUARY 9
Scott updated his status.
is contemplating babyproofing.
FEBRUARY 8
Scott shared a link.

La Princesse in Liverpool – The Big Picture – Boston.com
www.boston.com
50 foot spider attacks Liverpool.
Scott wrote on Brian Kemnitz’s timeline.
Dude, you can have some of my friends. The ox tail was an interesting challenge — harder to cook than a lamb’s head but a lot easier to eat. I think I’ve heard that joke in Norway, but it was a Swede. You need geography lessons. Send me those pizzas in mail. I’d kill for Lou Malnatis.
Scott updated his status.
is being nice to Jill — it’s Norwegian Morsdag, and she’s a pretty good mom.
FEBRUARY 7
Scott updated his status.
is making ox tail soup.
Scott updated his status.
is planning summer vacation.
Scott wrote on Cathy Campbell Grauer’s timeline.
A kiss on both cheeks, birthday girl.
FEBRUARY 6
Scott updated his status.
is doing a little writing.
FEBRUARY 5
Scott shared a link.
Stimulus: One Percent for the Imagination
www.thenation.com
Scott shared a link.
Greeneggs
Unknown Artist – Unknown Album
Greeneggs
retts.net
The result of parental leave and a half hour of messing around in Garage Band.
FEBRUARY 4
Scott updated his status.
is on top of the world, in comparison to people who live south of norway.
Scott shared a link.

ASU orders unpaid furloughs
www.azcentral.com
Teachers at Arizona State University were ordered to take 12 “non-teaching days” off without pay in the middle of the current semester. I hope this isn’t a trend. Anybody who thinks you can maintain high-quality instruction by telling professors not to work 12% of the time is an idiot. It’s a shame when states de-prioritize education as a non-essential service. I’m lucky that I’ve always taught at institutions with unions.
Scott shared a link.
An Epic of the Everglades – The New York Review of Books
www.nybooks.com
I’m really enjoying “Shadow Country” — I just finished the first book of it. Matthiessen writes partly like Faulkner, partly like Cormac McCarthy. While I don’t think this book is as good as the best of either of those two, it is a masterful tale, filled with blood and intrigue and amazing storytelling technique. It’s keeping up at night, blazing through the pages, It won last year’s National Book Award. While some critics have said that boiling what was originally a trilogy down to one long volume reduced some of the subtleties, I’m darn engaged so far. I’d recommend it.
FEBRUARY 3
Scott updated his status.
is watching the progression from cute behavior to dangerous behavior accelerate.
Scott updated his status.
wonders what countries the baby is calling as she types random numbers into the phone.
Scott updated his status.
is up with the midnight baby who seems not the least bit tired.
FEBRUARY 2
Scott wrote on Elin Sjursen’s timeline.
Only if you down a shot of vodka in between the chips and candy.
Scott shared a link.

newriver
www.cddc.vt.edu
Scott updated his status.
has learned that “gator pears” are avacados and that the word avacado is derived from the aztec word “ahuacalt,” which means “testicle tree.”
Scott shared a link.
www.nytimes.com
www.nytimes.com
Babies Know: A Little Dirt Is Good for You

Something to remember the next time we find our daughter chewing on a handful of cat food.
FEBRUARY 1
Scott updated his status.
9:49pm
is reading Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen.

Facebook Posts: Jan 2009

January 2009
JANUARY 31
Scott updated his status.
plans to go see Hedda Gabler in Norwegian tonight, and feel alienated.
Scott shared a link.

Google’s Street View camera car hits a baby deer | Media | guardian.co.uk
www.guardian.co.uk
Scott updated his status.
predicts a huge market recovery when you all buy lots of stock.
Scott wrote on Aaron Kleiner’s timeline.
Hey Aaron congratulations on being almost middle-aged. I figure you’ve got at least another year of almost-youth. Have it good.
JANUARY 30
Scott updated his status.
is hurling water balloons at Republicans.
JANUARY 29
Scott updated his status.
is doing a puppet show with Jessica.
JANUARY 28
Scott updated his status.
is just now getting around to drawing up a list of new year’s resolutions.
Scott wrote on Walter Scholger’s timeline.
Walter– She has! Any time — we’d look forward to seeing you again.
JANUARY 26
Scott updated his status.
is getting ready for his talk at BEK tommorrow: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=54225021499
Scott wrote on Julie Rettberg’s timeline.
Happy Birthday, Aunt Julie. Have a fun day in sunny CA.
Martin Arvebro posted a link to your timeline.

City of Speed – Bergen, Norway
www.youtube.com
JANUARY 25
Megan Rettberg Smith posted a link to your timeline.

The Great Nap Boycott of ’07 – Baby Daddy
www.babble.com
Mom said Jesse has been having some Mason-esque nap refusals. I thought you might find this blog entertaining. I think Mason definitely came from Planet Hyperspaz as well.
Scott updated his status.
is going to his mother-in-laws to eat haggis.
JANUARY 24
Scott updated his status.
spontaneously took Jill and Jessica out to a fancy-ass restaurant, enjoyed family time out on the town.
JANUARY 22
Scott updated his status.
just ate brieflab topped with sauteed mushrooms, bacon, and raspberries.
Scott updated his status.
is making steinbit topped with sauteed mushrooms, bacon, and raspberries.
Scott wrote on Megan Rettberg Smith’s timeline.
Happy birthday, Megan! Lunch or dinner at Kampai the next time I’m in town. 30?! Damn, that means I’m REALLY getting old.
JANUARY 21
Scott wrote on Hilde G Corneliussen’s timeline.
Happy Birthday!
Scott updated his status.
is now willing to openly admit that he is an American.
JANUARY 20
Scott updated his status.
is getting ready for the inauguration party.
JANUARY 19
Scott updated his status.
made red beans and rice.
JANUARY 17
Scott shared a link.

Obama Foodorama
obamafoodorama.blogspot.com
Scott updated his status.
has prepared the inaugural chili for the party on Tuesday.
Scott shared a photo.

Timeline Photos
Scott updated his status.
is going shopping for chicken wings, chili fixings, beer and other inauguration party necessities
Scott updated his status.
is planning never to search the Hudson for jet engines filled with bird DNA.
JANUARY 16
Scott updated his status.
is taking baby to the art museum to look at some Klee.
JANUARY 15
Scott shared a link.

Turkey Pasta Salad Recipe | Taste of Home Recipes
www.tasteofhome.com
Scott updated his status.
‘s baby loves turkey pasta salad.
JANUARY 14
Scott updated his status.
is daddytime.
JANUARY 13
Scott wrote on Eric Rettberg’s timeline.
I think he was supposed to be born today but his lazy ass stayed in until mid-February.
Scott updated his status.
is Paarl Hills Shiraz.
JANUARY 12
Scott updated his status.
is trying to wrap up an EU grant proposal.
JANUARY 11
Scott wrote on Christopher Wayland’s timeline.
The fantastic social benefits and majestic mountain vistas almost outweigh the negatives, such as the persistent darkness and rain, and the occasional skeletal spectres of death seen playing chess, reapers in hand.
Scott updated his status.
is burning the midnight oil.
Scott wrote on Christopher Wayland’s timeline.
Hey congrats on the birth of William Alexander. Looking forward to the double stroller pics.
JANUARY 10
Scott wrote on Cristy Scoggins Gillespie’s timeline.
Happy birthday. Dulcet tones on the radio today.
Scott wrote on Inauguration Party’s timeline.

I’ll BE THERE COOKING CHILI.

Scott updated his status.
is montepulciano.
JANUARY 9
Scott updated his status.
is pinot noir.
Scott wrote on William Gillespie’s timeline.
3PM is your rock show streaming?
JANUARY 7
Scott updated his status.
is experiencing the pain of grant proposal writing, counting hypothetical person-months, building tables, filling out forms, growling and cursing.
Scott updated his status.
has way too much to do.
JANUARY 6
Scott wrote on Rob Wittig’s timeline.
Good to see you, Rob. Your snow sounds profound. Here we gotta lotta ice. I am falling down a hill as we type.
Scott updated his status.
observes that mommymilk in a bottle is the opiate of the jessies.
Scott updated his status.
is parenting and dealing with hozeled mac.
JANUARY 5
Scott wrote on Sarah Holmes’s timeline.
Beautiful girl, Sarah. It’s great to see you looking so happy.
Scott updated his status.
woke up early, made a dutch apple pancake, and sent Jill off to work.
JANUARY 4
Scott updated his status.
is jetlagged with a jetlagged baby.
Scott wrote on Kathryn Gilligan’s timeline.
Ugh. The trip was great, if short and action-packed. Chicago was snow and ice and family fun, San Fran was warm and sunny and academic and more family fun. Baby jet lag back on this end is no fun. I was up with a baby girl eating Cheerioes and applesauce from 3-4:30AM. But at least she was happy, when she finally convinced me to get up with her. Hope you had good holidays, though if you resembled the portrait, perhaps they were queasy ones.
JANUARY 3
Scott wrote on Kathryn Gilligan’s timeline.
Katie, you’ve aged and gone green on us!
JANUARY 2
Scott updated his status.
10:17pm
is back in Bergen. Parental leave starts today.

Facebook Posts: Dec 2008

December 2008

DECEMBER 31
Scott wrote on Martin Arvebro’s timeline.
Happy New Year to you too! See you next week.
Scott updated his status.
is back in Chicago for New Year’s Eve with the babies.
DECEMBER 28
Scott updated his status.
is at the MLA in San Francisco.
DECEMBER 26
Scott wrote on Lauren Rettberg’s timeline.
Awesome. Can you email me your cell #? We’ll give you a call later today when we roll into town.
DECEMBER 24
Scott wrote on Lauren Rettberg’s timeline.
Are you around SF next weekend, Lauren? If so, we’re looking for a Jessica-sitter Sunday morning. Any interest?
Scott updated his status.
is very merry.
DECEMBER 22
Scott updated his status.
has written about half of his MLA paper.
Scott updated his status.
is writing.
Scott updated his status.
enjoyed watching the four 2008 Rettberg kids rolling around.
DECEMBER 21
Scott updated his status.
is on the ground in Chicago, enjoying snow and blistering wind chill. Real winter.
DECEMBER 20
Scott updated his status.
is hoping not to be stuck in Amsterdam with wife and infant daughter nor circling O’Hare. Thor be kind to us.
Scott wrote on Tama Leaver’s timeline.
Be older and joyful. Gratuler om dagen!
Scott wrote on Natalie Rettberg’s timeline.
Happy birthday cousin. Don’t bring that rifle on Xmas eve. There’s a family dispute in full swing over which charities we should collectively give a sibling gift to, and red wine will be served. The last thing we need is firearms at the table. Have a great day, and see you in a few.
DECEMBER 19
Scott wrote on Natalie Rettberg’s timeline.
We’ll see you there, Natalie, looking forward to it!
Scott updated his status.
is off to Chicago in the morning, for bouts of celebration mixed with frenzied writing of my MLA paper.
Scott updated his status.
has been whomped with a coldlike illness and slept half of the last two days.
DECEMBER 17
Scott updated his status.
encourages the price of oil to go up and the value of the US dollar to go down.
DECEMBER 15
Scott updated his status.
is done grading until Fall 2009 (sound of heels clicking in air).

Scott updated his status.
finished Christmas shopping.
DECEMBER 14
Scott wrote on Chuck Rybak’s timeline.
Have a great day, Chuck.
Scott updated his status.
is recovering from the smalahove party.
DECEMBER 13
Scott updated his status.
is going to eat half a sheep’s head at Hilde’s tonight.
DECEMBER 12
Scott updated his status.
is bummed about a dead Mac.
DECEMBER 10
Scott updated his status.
is bidding Barcelona farewell.
DECEMBER 9
Scott wrote on Brad Kemnitz’s timeline.
Happy birthday. You must be close to legal by now.
Scott updated his status.
is meeting with Laura Borras in Barcelona.
DECEMBER 8
Scott wrote on Kevin Nylen’s timeline.
Congrats, Kevin!
Scott updated his status.
is in Barcelona.
DECEMBER 3
Scott updated his status.
is taking my sweetheart and my baby girl to Paris (for a meeting).
DECEMBER 3
Scott shared a link.
www.nytimes.com
www.nytimes.com
I never knew this — the phrase “under God” was added to the USA pledge of allegiance in 1952 after a minister lobbied to have the phrase included. Before that, the pledge was appropriately secular.
Scott wrote on Camilla Moe’s timeline.
Congratulations on completing your MA degree. Well done!
DECEMBER 1
Scott shared a link.

Hand Puppets, Marionettes, & Puppet Theaters at Puppet Universe
www.puppetuniverse.com
Puppets rock!
Scott updated his status.
bought puppets for every child on his Christmas list.
Scott updated his status.
just finished reading Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives.

Donna Leishman at UiB Nov. 5th

The University of Bergen Department of Linguistic, Literary, and Aesthetic Studies Digital Culture Research Group
is pleased to welcome guest lecturer Donna Leishman.

Wednesday, November 5th, 14:15-16:00, HF-bygget 265

Lecture open to the public: “Dissonance in Multi-Semiotic Landscapes”

Dr. Donna Leishman is Course Leader BA (Hons) Illustration and Deputy Head of Media Arts & Imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Scotland. Her work combines critical writing and practice-led research in digital art with a particular interest in the intersection of narrative with internet based interactivity. Themes in her research include developing and exploring the role of the participant in these exchanges and developing a canon of practice that questions standard paradigms of behaviour. Her works of interactive animated narrative including “RedRidingHood” and “The Possession of Christian Shaw” can be explored at www.6amhoover.com.

David Wallace

David Foster Wallace killed himself on Sept. 12th, 2008. I wrote a couple of short texts in response to his death — he was my teacher when I was a master’s student at Illinois State University, and he will always be an important figure in the landscape of my life. I’ll post both texts here, in reverse order. I wrote the first piece here a couple of weeks back for his memorial service at ISU, which occurred yesterday. It is included in a collection of remembrances that was bound and given to his parents. The second piece I wrote the night after I heard about his death. It is a bit rawer, darker, and perhaps in some ways angrier than than the one I wrote for his memorial. I posted that piece on Grand Text Auto, and a redacted version was also posted on the McSweeney’s website. It has been a strange process watching the world react to his death (in some ways getting to know him better through the fragments of his life shared by others, in other ways just shocked at the way his postmortem memory has taken on a kind of rock-star hagiography). I have thought about him, his life, his writing, and his end very often since.

So long, David

The first time I met David Wallace, about a week after I started in the MA program at ISU in 1993, I told him that I was excited about working with him. I told him that about a month earlier, I had picked up a copy of The Broom of the System at a used book store in Madison, where I was living at the time, read it twice from cover to cover and thought it was just about the smartest, most fun and engaging book I had read in years. He looked a little pained, made some sort of one-handed adjustment to his bandanna, and told me that I should never tell a writer I had bought his book used. He also said that he had written that book a long time ago, when he was very young, and that he had very mixed feelings about it — it was nothing like the kind of stuff he was writing now. I remember that he was on his way out the door, and he was juggling a tennis racket in one hand as we talked.

The first writing workshop I took with David met the first day of class in one of those awful interior classrooms in Stevenson Hall, a kind of musty box with no natural light and the hum of old-style fluorescents overhead. David hated those lights. The first assignment he gave us was to bring lamps to the next session of the class. When the next week came around, about a dozen students showed up carrying lamps, ranging from clip-on desktop models to things with ceramic bases and flowery shades that looked like they had been plucked from a 1970s parents’ basement. There were not enough plugs in the room, and we had to go to ridiculous extremes to balance the lamps on the slanted surface of the writing desks, so at some point David concluded there was no option but to convene the next class in the house he was renting. The rest of the workshop meetings, both that semester and during the following year took place in his living room. The first meeting he held in his house I remember being fascinated and troubled by the fact that on his bathroom wall he had thumb-tacked up a) a junior tennis circuit tournament chart and b) the wrapper for an Adult Depends undergarment. Being a bit of a smart-ass, when I emerged from the bathroom, I asked whether he was having any incontinence issues. He looked momentarily baffled, then slightly embarrassed, and explained it was just for something he was writing, that it was sort of like research.

I knew David from 1993-1995. We didn’t really stay in touch after I graduated. But I got to know him pretty well during that time. He was my thesis adviser and he taught me a great deal about writing fiction. I mention the fact that he had the grad workshops meet in his home because that’s sort of how he was in a general sense. He let you in his living room. Though teaching creative writing was by no stretch of the imagination anywhere near as important to him as were the thousands and thousands of words of Infinite Jest that he was writing and revising each and every day (his output during this period was insanely prolific), he was nevertheless a great teacher. He taught you to care about your writing on a sentence-by-sentence, word-by-word, comma-by-comma basis. He honestly thought that the project of the novelist was possibly the most important work he could conceive (and that with the job came a kind of terrible responsibility to humanity). Though he always emphasized the fact that he doubted most of us students would ever actually become writers (he suggested we not even begin to think of ourselves as writers until we had written at least fifty stories), he was universally respectful of any attempt to write a story that any writer took seriously. He himself wrote as if his life depended on it, and it probably did. He thought that writing was a kind of cure for loneliness, or at least that it could serve to make a person feel momentarily less alone, more understood.

I probably still haven’t written fifty stories, but I’ve written a few things in the years since I was one of Wallace’s students. Like most of his students I know, I’ll always feel a little like I’m living in his shadow. It is and will always be impossible to measure up to his example. I think of him nearly every time I write. I am grateful for all that I learned from him.

David’s death hit me like a freight train. As a reader, of course, I feel a deep loss. But also, selfishly, I had always thought that I would have a chance to meet David again, to sit down with him and talk, to reunite. I can only imagine what those closest to him, his parents, his sister, and his wife, have suffered in this time, and there is no sufficient way for me to express my sympathies.

By chance, Robert Coover happened to be in town the morning when we heard the news about David. Coover knew David, liked him, respected his work, and had invited him to come to visit Brown. Coover was deeply shaken by the news, distracted enough that he missed his plane from Bergen to London while we traded stories about David, and so we ended up spending the day together with my wife and daughters. It was a kind of Indian summer day in Norway with marvelous, sparkling light, everything around us shining, vibrant, and green. As I watched one great American novelist playing with my girls, happy in the autumn of his years, I couldn’t help but think about another, and all those books he would have written in his forties, his fifties, his sixties, and his seventies. All the joys he might have known. He was robbed, and so were we all. Yet if there is one thing you can say about David, it is that he did not waste the life he lived. He is present in the lives of his students, his readers, his friends, and his family. His works and his life still mean a great deal to the world, and he always will.

* * *

David Foster Wallace was a great teacher, in his own particular way, and he was a gifted writer who maybe got a little hung up on things, on interiority, on the prison of his own consciousness. He could write the shit out of you. He feared and was fascinated by the twisted. He knew grammar and could speak it very well. He knew theory and didn’t want you to try and teach it to him. He was so fucking postmodern that he grew sick of contemplating his own existence. He was not moderate. He wrote long and loved footnotes but hated the fact that he felt compelled to use them. He loathed that he loathed. He told tasteless jokes about death. He managed to write a monument and then he never could quite escape its shadow. He was a genius. He used smilely faces for grades. He was greasy. He would sweat. You would smell him in the room. He was conscious of his own body odor. He would scratch at the side of his face absent-mindedly but not absent of mind, if that makes sense. He would ask you if things made sense in a way that was both sincere and dismissive. The questions primarily rhetorical. He had a great desire to be a good human being. He had acne and feared it. He was athletic. He would see you and wonder if you had once played tennis with him. He had a very intense stare, you could say piercing but that wouldn’t be quite right, it didn’t pierce, it did something else. It worked in conflict with his body language. He loved writing and was humiliated by it. He was sympathetic to any creature in pain and sympathetic to anyone who caused pain. You need to wonder if he might have been better off if he had stayed on drugs. He was large and filled a room with language. He was complex and verbose and often right. He made errors. His eyes were evasive but he would work his way to telling you what mattered. He feared middle age and deterioration. He was a man of his time and he limited it. He feared the image. He loved the idea of celebrity in reclusion. Pynchon, DeLillo, Dostoevsky. He drank those carb milkshakes that bodybuilders drink. He read self help books in order to both help himself and to see how contrived and pathetic and self-indulgent the American mind had become. He confronted each of his addictions, one at a time. He never really learned how to dress himself properly. He sometimes wished he had become a philosopher instead. He studied sentences. He edited mercilessly, but found the text grew longer with each incision, fresh trees sprouting from every wound. He hated fluorescent light, and the buzz of technology. He loved his dog. He was a precocious child, and lonely. Humanity is a difficult subject, a dying life form. He told a string of jokes about the Branch Davidians. He wanted to make you laugh and cry at the same time. He thought that was the problem, that we could no longer get past our by-now-ingrained habits of looking at our own situations from a raptor’s-eye-view of irony, of post-deconstructive psychoanalytic abstraction, from a post which would make everything cool to the touch, that it had become impossible to feel. The need to be cool. The need to be cool consuming and leading to the failure of the heart. The heart has become impossible. The need to disconnect the brain from the heart. The dread. The sound of the tapping keys, the leaky faucet tapping, the reader, the viewer. The fear of the red pen. The jailer. The purpose of the novel to disturb and entertain. The impossibility of the subject. He wished he had chosen to become a mathematician, a physicist. He was devoted to the word and lived within the claustrophobic walls of its temple. He tried to deconstruct manhood. He was trying to explain something in way that even you could understand it. He could not explain. You could not understand. This incredible awkwardness. He feared himself, reclining by a pool, dripping with sweat, completely satisfied and empty. The reductive cockroach, the expansionist lobster. The most complicated problem you could throw at him. Eating a corn dog at the state fair. Interviewing porn stars with an awkward erection. Destroying the television because you are addicted to it. Never really leaving home. He wanted to save something. He thought that life was too short, or ought to be. The desire to find a humorous way to get to something real. The desire to extend. The understanding of the psyche of the man facing the firing squad, the desire to dwell on it. The impossibility of the word love. The impossibility of ending. The metaphor of getting into the ring to fight. The desire to remove oneself from the arena. The trouble with closure. Finding a voice. Finding a note. The decision of whether or not to leave. Recognizing that voice is a sentimentality. The sense of failure. Finally just tired. Leaving a tragedy. Did he think to erase his hard drive? Probably not, you poor bastard. Given the possibility of forensics. Burning the manuscript. Throwing the pages into the fire. The eventual film. The desert. The spider, the variety of it. Diseases that eat the flesh. This move across the dark room, this groping with alien fingers. What one does after being bitten by a brown recluse. Walking in the desert. Remembering the clouds. A ligature. Suspension. Constriction. The most common method after firearms. Read the footnotes. Have you read it, and yet you still don’t get it? The very long joke. The partial weight of the body. The sense of an ending. The conditions related to the event. The argument at hand. The desire to leave a little mess for pain but not so much as to trouble your love. Your sense of love. The awareness that your body will likely shit itself. The contemplation of that shit as you tender the cord. The awareness that you are loved and yet not able to de-abstract it. The occasion an excuse. But deep. You loathe the very idea of the sublime and you want to express it. The rise and the leap. You cannot ultimately communicate. See the notes. Finding the other and still knot. You hear yourself gag and you smell everything as your nostrils flare. Time is relentless and it will not slow for you now. Agency was had. A certain type of determination. A private novel on a machine of one’s own. No intentional fallacy. Flee from me. Reaching for the cord. To pull it away. To scratch at it. The survival instinct. Merciless. Cruel. Inevitable. Brave. Cowardly. Wanting. Full stop.

Facebook Posts: Oct 2008

October 2008

OCTOBER 31
Scott updated his status.
has decided to have a halloween party next year. No costume is just crazy.
Scott wrote on William Gillespie’s timeline.
“Bø!” — The kids here all look like goth nightmares. No disney characters here. Most of the grownups don’t give out candy. But we got the skull ghost and pumpkin out, an island of candy in a country that doesn’t understand the importance of All Soul’s Eve.
Scott updated his status.
stocked up on American candy is he and Jill are a huge hit with all the little norwegian witches zombies demons and other creepy children.
Scott wrote on William Gillespie’s timeline.
And a boo right back atcha my facebook friend.
OCTOBER 29
Scott updated his status.
had dinner at his favorite restaurant with Jill, wine selections for each course. Grandma Suzie babysat. Boha fantastamunga!
OCTOBER 28
Scott updated his status.
is gonna blow some kroner on a fancy-ass dinner.
Scott wrote on Brad Kemnitz’s timeline.
Hiding in Norway, man. Moved here a couple of years back. Chris T tells me about your baby dinners group — hoping to crash the party sometime when we’re in town.
Scott updated his status.
is watching the first snowfall of the year. Better than rain, I guess.
Scott updated his status.
wants the economy to stop doing that already. Uncle!
OCTOBER 27
Scott wrote on William Vincent Crumley’s timeline.
Chris Offutt — I met him once in Iowa — is the writer of the HBO series True Blood. I assume he’s the same guy. Read any Cormac McCarthy? Blood Meridian or The Road are really good books I think you’d like. Also you might like Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Letham, and the Hundred Brothers by Donald Antrim — hilarious.
Scott updated his status.
finally finished reading Camilla’s thesis.
OCTOBER 26
Scott updated his status.
is reading a draft of a master’s thesis.
Scott wrote on William Vincent Crumley’s timeline.
Bill — I haven’t, but I read some good reviews — I’ll pick one up. Any relation? Doin good in Norway — nearly over the Cubs.
Scott updated his status.
is still waiting for the ballot he registered for two months ago, after Cook County rejected the one he sent in from overseasvotefoundation.org
Scott updated his status.
is against cheap oil. He thinks solar trains are the future of transportation, and he wants to see it happen next year.
OCTOBER 23
Scott updated his status.
has decided to homeschool his 6 month-old daughter for at least the next six months.
Scott updated his status.
is enjoying the torrential rain, bus strike, and death spiral of the Norwegian kroner, not.
OCTOBER 22
Scott updated his status.
‘s high school French name was “Jean-Xavier.” He chose the name after the teacher told him Scott was unpronouncable in French.
OCTOBER 21
Scott updated his status.
is enjoying the weather, not.
Scott wrote on Caitlin Fisher’s timeline.
Happy Birthday — now go finish that poem.
OCTOBER 20
Scott updated his status.
finished the article at 11:25, after completely revising it, after beloved wife read it and suggested he scrap most of it.
Scott updated his status.
is writing an article for Vagant, deadline tonight.
OCTOBER 19
Scott updated his status.
absorbs the idea that fall is a very short season in which rain denudes the trees.
OCTOBER 18
Scott wrote on Matthew Rettberg’s timeline.
Got your info safely into my address book, and the wine made it across, along with a jar of pickles, a jug of maple syrup, a bottle of A1, and about 6 bottles of salad dressings, creature comforts for an American abroad.
OCTOBER 16
Scott updated his status.
thinks about Ohio from time to time.
Scott updated his status.
thinks Joe the plumber is f’ing rich.
Scott updated his status.
is preparing for class, grading papers, attending 3 hour meeting (in Norwegian) [about ugh buereaucratic forms], teaching, writing letters of rec, my god, more
Scott updated his status.
has a massive to-do list and it is hailing outside.
OCTOBER 16
Scott wrote on Kendra Shedenhelm’s timeline.
Facebook is no place for the details of your sex life.
OCTOBER 14
Scott updated his status.
is back in Bergen.
OCTOBER 12
Scott updated his status.
went to 20 year HS class reunion, reunited.
OCTOBER 11
Scott updated his status.
is one more night in Illinois then back to Bergen.
OCTOBER 9
Adam Cohen posted a link to your timeline.

Everything Matters -Rednecks for Obama part 1- Asheville, NC
www.youtube.com
Rednecks of the world unite.
OCTOBER 8
Scott updated his status.
gave a reading at the Art Institute last night, four more days in Chicago then back to Bergen.
OCTOBER 3
Scott updated his status.
8:05pm
is in San Francisco, headed to the Russian River Valley.

Facebook Posts: Sept 2008

September 2008

SEPTEMBER 22
Scott wrote on Drew Alberts’s timeline.
I’m doing well, Drew, participating in the baby boom with my baby girl and teaching and generally enjoying life in Norway. I hear you’re becoming a chef? Awesome. Cooking is one of my favorite activities.
Scott updated his status.
is goin to Chicago.
SEPTEMBER 20
Scott updated his status.
gave the talk in one tent while a big band played in one tent to the left and rock band rehearsed in the tent to the right. Literally. But it went well.
SEPTEMBER 19
Scott updated his status.
is totally unprepared to give a keynote talk early tomorrow morning in Oslo.
SEPTEMBER 17
Scott updated his status.
is work, forms, papers, talk, Olso, Chicago, Madison, San Francisco, ahhh
SEPTEMBER 14
Scott updated his status.
is recovering from four great days.
SEPTEMBER 11
Scott updated his status.
is hosting the Electronic Literature in Europe conference (elitineurope.net) at UiB.
SEPTEMBER 9
Scott updated his status.
is getting ready for elit people.
SEPTEMBER 8
Martin Arvebro posted a link to your timeline.

– En gigantisk brannfelle – bt.no
www.bt.no
Now you believe me?
SEPTEMBER 2
Scott updated his status.
is in bed or at work in Norway and the rain comes.
SEPTEMBER 1
Scott updated his status.
is going to babyswim.

Facebook Posts: August 2008

August 2008

AUGUST 18
Scott wrote on Kendra Shedenhelm’s timeline.
Congrats, Kendra and Shawn. Archer looks healthy and handsome and you both look happy in the glow of parenthood. Great work!
AUGUST 17
Scott wrote on Kevin Nylen’s timeline.
Happy Birthday, Kevin!
Scott wrote on Hanna Wallach’s timeline.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Wallach!
AUGUST 12
Scott updated his status.
is how can fall semester start in August? Isn’t that a violation of the very idea of summer?
AUGUST 7
Scott updated his status.
is hesitant.
AUGUST 5
Scott updated his status.
is considering a new home and a staggering encumbrance of debt.
Scott updated his status.
is considering a new home and a staggering encumberance debt.
Scott wrote on Jessica Shaw Hirshorn’s timeline.
Hi Jessica,

Good to hear from you. I do most of my picture posting at flickr. Norway is great this time of year, before the rain really kicks in. Really enjoying fatherhood — my daughter’s name is Jessica, by the way. I hope life is treating you well in Arizona.
Scott updated his status.
is working on a syllabus.
AUGUST 3
Scott updated his status.
has no facebook gifts left to give.
AUGUST 2
Scott updated his status.
is bummed about the fall of Scrabulous. Thought that’s what Facebook is for.
AUGUST 1
Scott updated his status.
is revising an article.

Facebook Posts: July 2008

July 2008

JULY 28
Scott updated his status.
is working to get ready for the Electronic Literature in Europe conference.
JULY 22
Scott updated his status.
is back in Norway after 4 flights. Poor baby!
JULY 8
Scott updated his status.
is in Chicago.

Facebook Posts: June 2008

June 2008

JUNE 29
Scott wrote on Bethany Schoenbeck Rettberg’s timeline.
Happy birthday from Norway! Looking forward to seeing you next week in Chicago.
Scott updated his status.
is making a conference website.
JUNE 19
Scott updated his status.
is filling out forms and then doing committee work. Summer? Soon?
JUNE 12
Scott updated his status.
is still grading papers.
JUNE 10
Scott updated his status.
is grading papers.
JUNE 4
Scott updated his status.
is back home with a bad cold but glad to be with wife and baby.
JUNE 1
Scott updated his status.
is playing scrabble at the ELO conference.

Facebook Posts: May 2008

May 2008

MAY 26
Scott updated his status.
is going to Oslo to get a passport for baby, then headed to the US for ELO conference.
MAY 22
Scott updated his status.
is gathering an immense stack of papers written in Norwegian and wishing more of them were in English.
MAY 16
Scott updated his status.
is bummed about the airport shutdown.

Call for Papers and Works: Seminar on Electronic Literature in Europe: UiB September 11-13th

Call for Papers and Works: Seminar on Electronic Literature in Europe

September 11-13th, 2008 at the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway.

The Fall 2008 Bergen Seminar on Electronic Literature in Europe will build upon the work of the e-poetry seminar held in Paris in February 2008 at the University Paris 8, the 2007 e-poetry conference in Paris, the 2007 Remediating Literature Conference in Utrecht, and other recent activity in the field of electronic literature in Europe. The goals of this gathering are:

1) To provide an opportunity for European researchers to share and discuss their current research on electronic literature, e-poetry, and digital narrative forms.

2) To provide a forum for European authors of electronic literature to share, demonstrate, read, or perform their work.

3) To discuss and explore the foundation of a European research network focused on electronic literature, funding opportunities for such a network, and network activities.

The seminar will last three days and will include about 20-30 participants. The day-long meetings during the first two days will consist of short presentations of papers in panel format. Additionally, there will be performances, readings, and demonstrations of electronic literature in the evenings. The third day of the conference will be dedicated to proposing and discussing the formal establishment of a research network on electronic literature in Europe. Paper presentations should be in English. Presentation and performances of works can be made in English or in the native language of the presenter.

Registration for the seminar is free. There may be a fee for a conference dinner only. There will be no simultaneous sessions, so the number of presentation slots available will be limited, but researchers not selected to present are also free to attend. Both electronic literature authors and researchers are encouraged to submit proposals.

CALL FOR PAPERS

Any paper topic related to the seminar theme is welcome. Some subjects might include:

– Close readings of specific works of electronic literature.
– Ontologies and definitions of e-lit forms.
– National or language-group histories (or pre-histories) of e-lit.
– Procedural literacy and electronic literature.
– Relations between e-lit and other literary and artistic forms and movements.
– Issues involved in translating electronic literature.
– Issues involved in recording, archiving, and preserving e-lit.
– Electronic literature in cultural contexts.
– Pedagogy and approaches to teaching e-lit.
– Proposals for research network activities (e.g. archiving projects, publications, establishing a journal, pedagogical resources, etc.).

Presentations of papers should last no longer than 20 minutes.

Researchers should send an abstract of approximately 500 words before June 20th to elit.in.europe@gmail.com

CALL FOR WORKS

Authors wishing to present works of electronic literature should submit the following before June 20th:

1) A 500 word abstract describing the work, how the author intends to present it, and any technical requirements and how long it will take to present your work (max 30 minutes). The title of the work and all authors should be clearly identified. The abstract should be sent to elit.in.europe@gmail.com

2) If the work is published online, the URL at which it is located should be included in the abstract.

3) If the work is a non-web application, is published in other media than the web, or is performance-dependent, three copies of a CD-ROM or DVD including the work or video documentation of the work should be sent before June 20th to:

Scott Rettberg, Associate Professor
Literary, Linguistic, and Aesthetic Studies (LLE)
The University of Bergen
Postbox 7805
5020 Bergen
Norway

What is Electronic Literature?

The term refers to works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer. Within the broad category of electronic literature are several forms and threads of practice, some of which are:

* Hypertext fiction and poetry, on and off the Web
* Kinetic poetry presented in Flash and using other platforms
* Computer art installations that have literary aspects
* Interactive fiction
* Novels that take the form of emails, SMS messages, or blogs
* Poems and stories that are generated by computers
* Computer-enabled combinatory literary forms
* Collaborative writing projects that allow readers to contribute to the text of a work
* Literary performances that use the computer or network to develop new ways of writing

CALENDAR

The deadline for abstracts and works is June 20th. A response will be given by July 25th. Final papers must be submitted by September 1st for online proceedingss that will be published after the seminar. A website with further information will be published later this summer.

REVIEW COMMITTEE

Scott Rettberg, University of Bergen
Jill Walker Rettberg, University of Bergen
Phillippe Bootz, Paris 8 University
Maria Engberg, Blekinge Institute of Technology
Talan Memmott, Blekinge Institute of Techonology
Raine Koskimaa, University of Jyväskylä
Susana Tosca, IT University of Copenhagen

CONTACT INFO

Submission of abstracts and proposals should go to: elit.in.europe@gmail.com. Questions about the seminar should be directed to Scott Rettberg: scott(at)retts.net.


Apologies for cross-posting. Please distribute to anyone you think will be interested in attending.

Facebook Posts: Apr 2008

April 2008

APRIL 21
Scott updated his status.
is the father of Jessica Ann Rettberg!
APRIL 17
Scott updated his status.
is waiting for baby (3 days late).
APRIL 9
Scott updated his status.
is videos on flickr. Cool!
Scott updated his status.
is expecting a baby over the next week or so.
APRIL 7
Scott updated his status.
is finishing a grant proposal.

Jessica’s first new media artwork



Jessica’s first new media artwork, originally uploaded by srett.

Shortly after he received the birth announcement, my friend the digital poet Jason Nelson made Jessica’s first new media artwork. Even better, when I showed it to her she stopped crying.

Jessica Ann Rettberg



Closeup of Jessica, originally uploaded by srett.

Saturday April 19th at 11:40AM in Bergen, Norway, Jill gave birth to Jessica Ann Rettberg. Our daughter weighed 8 pounds, was 50 centimeters long, and is 100% healthy and beautiful.

Lørdag 19.april kl11:40 fikk Jill og jeg en datter: Jessica Ann Rettberg. Hun veide 3655g, var 50 centimeter lang, og det står bra til med mor og barn.

Major League Lifestyle Improvement

Today I upgraded to WordPress 2.5, which has a much nicer backend interface and some smart improvements (though I can’t seem to get the media uploader to work). In the process I also found out my previous theme had somehow been spam-hacked, which explains the new look-in-progress. But the major technological upgrade of the day was my subscription to MLB.TV. We have a DV cable to put the stream through to the TV. At anything over 400K, the image stream is too jerky on my connection, but at 400K, it is a lot like like watching baseball used to be when I was a kid and broadcast television involved rabbit ear manipulation. Still, you can’t beat being able to watch the Cubs live from Norway. Great game, the Cubs beat the Phillies 6-5 in the 10th inning. Well worth $20 a month.
Cubs on my tv in Norway