According to the dictionary, literature is defined as written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit. In line with this definition, Luminous Airplanes would be considered a piece of literature. This new age literature is interesting to me, because it reminds me of my younger days. My junior year of highschool, I was introduced by a friend to the game “Grand Theft Auto.” The game is considered to be violent is frowned upon by many, however in some sense there are similarities between the video game and the online literature piece. In the game, one can follow the story campaign and live the life of the main character, “Trevor,” or they can do anything they would like in the game. One can do absolutely anything they please in the game. In this online book, one can read the book, or they can access the map, and read from anywhere they please.
After reading a few pages from the beginning, I decided to access the map. From the map I then press the help button where I was presented with an interesting text. The text read: “My god, you think you need help? You’re not the one sitting in his room in New Haven, Connecticut, right now, wondering what the hell happened to your life.” The text further went in a somewhat biographical sense expanding on the authors life and then closing with, “and you think you’re the one who needs help! My god.” This was interesting to me because it was a much more relaxed sense of text contrary to the other texts we were asked to read. It was even more interesting because I stumbled upon it by myself, and not just reading straight through. Most people most likely do not even click on the help section of the map. Luminous Airplanes is much different than say Frankenstein because Frankenstein is a piece of literature where Mary Shelley wants readers to get a message from reading her novel. The story has a plot with a beginning and an end. With this online text, I felt as if it didn’t have the same elements that Frankenstein had because the story was chosen by the reader. The reader got the message that he WANTED to receive from the text. It is unlike normal text, and I feel as if the author Carr would not approve of this form of literature because in the end the reader is somewhat of an author.
Birket’s in his argument puts forth an interesting idea that reading a text should take you places. That when you read a book you are not sitting there reading but you are actually immersed into the book along with the characters. Upon reading Luminous Airplanes, I did not feel this. I did not feel as if I was immersed into the text, because I was choosing what was going on, and there was not actually a moment that took me by surprise. By definition, people could say that this is a form of literature, but from an author’s point of view, and a readers standpoint, this is not “classic literature.”