Next Up on the Batting Roster (The Silent History Field Report)

So, I’m really going full nerd over this Silent History concept. Not only are the testimonials for the narrative arc amazing, the flash fiction, serial release is right up my alley. (The two pieces I’ve published so far have been flash.) It seems a natural fit that I grab onto that for my semester project in my class combining the contemporary virtual world with the world of the European Romantic literaries, and so I’ve decided to create a field report for submission.

Will it be a stretch for me? Sure. I don’t do fiction. But I am an avid reader in every genre, and I’m taking this fiction workshop at the moment (don’t ask). I think I can pull this off. Reasons I want to complete this project:

  • I want projects like Silent History to succeed, and the concept of the novel to grow as our technology allows, and I want to be part of that conversation as a published writer.
  • The content talks about many of the same things we’ve discussed in our course–epidemics, language (and fear of its loss), identity (as social construct) all make the short list.
  • I get to use my really awesome town as a backdrop for a piece of flash, and integrate my setting into my piece as never before. My first thought is to use the courthouse steps in some way, since the ironwork scrollwork contains the name of its maker in the pattern, but to have the silent drawn to the fountain across the street. I want this to be the narrator’s first encounter with a silent in a small town that doesn’t accept the Other well.

Phases and Form

  • Choosing locale—first on the list is the local courthouse, so I could have instant conflict (a court case in family court, for instance) and non-interaction with the written words worked into the scroll work on the staircase), but there are lots of possibilities, including the school that was used for the handicapped before they were mainstreamed. I thought I could operate under the premise that the school would be reopened later in the epidemic for the silent population.
  • Photos—photographs of the location need to be taken, edited, and uploaded for evaluation of the setting
  • Writing of the field report—flash fiction piece constructed with the submission guidelines in mind, with the goal of acceptance for inclusion in the project
  • Location Specifics—loading of GPS coordinates for activation of the site

Themes from Class to Cover in Reflection

  • Loss of Language in the silents’ epidemic
  • Affect in the Silent (facial/body language communication)
  • Treatment of the Other
  • Science/Technology as Falsity or trigger for affect looping
  • First-hand Reporting/Testimonials

List of Texts/References/Media Sources I Will Be Consulting/Employing

I can see working with Said, DeFoe, maybe Blake’s contradictions, and the threat of the panopticon (through Foucault). It’s really going to come down to my choice of setting and how that guides my flash piece, though. It’s a work in progress which needs to progress quickly.

Let me know what you think…


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