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Notes on the Voyage of Owl and Girl

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Notes on the Voyage of Owl and Girl is a work of digital fiction. Any resemblance to actual events, persons, places or texts is entirely intentional. Details from many a high sea story have been netted by this net-worked work. The combinatorial powers of computer-generated narrative conflate and confabulate characters, facts, and forms of narrative accounts of sea voyages into the unknown North undertaken over the past 2340 years. At the furthest edge of this assemblage floats the fantastical classical island of Ultima Thule and the strange phenomenon known to the Romans as sea lung. Sprung from Edward Leer’s Victorian nonsense poem, a lazy and somewhat laconic owl and a girl most serious, most adventurous, most determined, have set sail toward this strange sea in a boat of pea-, bottle-, lima-bean- or similar shade of green. The cartographic collage they voyage through collects the particularities of a number of fluid floating places - as described or imagined in sources as diverse as Hakluyt’s Voyages and Discoveries and the children’s poem Wynken, Blynken and Nod - and reacontextualizes them in an obviously awkward assemblage of discontinuous surfaces pitted with points of departure, escape routes, lines of flight.

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"An owl and a girl most studious set sail in a lima-bean-green tub; a ship shape sieve, certainly, though a good deal too ill-equiped to suit the two of them. They took a barrel of cod liver oil and a almanac of dubious usefullness. The owl was basically along for the ride. The girl sought to gain further traces of Ultima Thule."

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J. R. Carpenter