Week Seven – Dispersed Text. The Elegant Trickster.

This week we looked at dispersed text. This format of writing can be seen in a variety of ways. Looking back two weeks ago when experimenting with blackout poetry, that too is an example of dispersed text. Essentially it’s a piece of text which isn’t linear.

Today we downloaded a program called Vue, that allows you to create your own dispersed text. I didn’t have a huge concept in mind, but liked the idea of using it as a ‘stream-of-consciousness’ mind map. While the program offers limited formatting options, the ones provided can be utilised well if adopted properly.

For instance, I used a central ellipse to give  a third perspective so the reader wasn’t lost. After that, each of the rectangles, octagons and diamonds all represent different thought patterns. The rectangles are self-indulgent thoughts, negative perceptions of the self. The octagons show a more in-depth thought pattern, what could/should happen. The diamonds are longing, side thoughts that most likely take up more of the conscious than revealed, but are barely admitted. Together they are connected with the main ellipse with a tangled mess of webs (lines), which too, reflect the first image we were introduced to (the girl tangled in her sheets),  and are left with (the girl emerging from the bed, implying her life too, is messy).

First dispersed text created using Vue.

What I found most interesting is the concept of ‘dispersed text’ is still fairly new. When searching ‘dispersed text’ or ‘dispersed text examples’ or ‘dispersed text definitions’, nothing truly substantial comes from Google. Several mathematic equations, fragmented definitions of key words etc. However, when typing ‘dispersed text’ into the search engine, the first result is ‘dispersed writings’, which once again references Jason Nelson as a sort of founder to the style.


Personally, I like the format of this writing as well as Vue, and intend to use them in my assessment. I like that the maps make you free to construct different types of narrative e.g. stream of consciousness, choose your own adventure, etc.


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