07 November 2006

Text on the installment plan

, which I’ve just come across, offers mainly public domain novels serialized through daily e-mail installments.

Below are a few of the more interesting offerings—seems like a micro-sampling of the same material available through the 19,000 titles at Project Gutenberg, but the digest idea makes for a twist.

I’ve ordered Edwin Abbott, which I’m sure would please Steve Tomasula, and so can now spend even more time tethered to my computer. This is the idea, it seems.

I suspect I will scan when the first of 37 parts hits my email tomorrow morning. Got 332 days to do Ulysses?

Implications for literature? Sure. Would it work with the texts we often write about at NOW WHAT? Maybe.

If so, what novels should be made available by this method?


Abbott, Edwin
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions [37 parts]

Du Bois, W.E.B.
Souls of Black Folk, The [78 parts]

Joyce, James
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, A [103 parts]
Ulysses [332 parts]

Proust, Marcel
Swann's Way [206 parts]

Stein, Gertrude
Three Lives [96 parts]




Ted Pelton said...

This looks like a great idea. I've been thinking about Tom Paine's Common Sense and those kind of books, combing through great Enlightenment works for quotes. "Remembering the Enlightment." Getting daily deliveries beats that by a mile.

I'll have to go back to it. I started browsing and ran out of time!

jdeshell said...

Just what I need, more email.

Carol Novack said...

This is terrific, Davis. I've requested installments of Swann's Way. Wish they had Duras and Huysmans. Though I'm unsure as to when a book becomes "public domain."

I suppose that if we all wrote to the website owner (his name's Albert) with suggestions of what we'd like to see included, he might just comply. He's included Stein, which is great. Actually, he has a new blog at which you can leave comments: http://blog.dailylit.com

Lots of people don't like to read anything substantial that's shorter than a couple of paragraphs online, however. But for those who can bear reading installments, this is a gift.

Lance Olsen said...

What's interesting to me is how this project takes away the book from the appearance of a book.

That is, by its being in the world it asks the question:

Is a book its content or its delivery method?

My sense is that the answer depends on the text and reader at hand, but, while I see how helpful the Dailylit.com idea would be for those having a difficulties laying their hands on an out-of-print text, it takes away any sense of physical beauty from the thing read, and that strikes me as a sad loss.