Two Witnesses at Eschaton

The Brain Drawing The Bullet

The Brain Drawing the Bullet is an online short story written by Dr.Alan Trotter from Edinburgh, Scotland. The story follows a killer who takes philosophy from William Burroughs, imitating him by being unreliable as a representation of Burroughs’s “cut-up” method. All “truth” in the text read is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. It is a text with an unreliable narrator. It also feels like a novel, so it is to be read as a text, not a game or comic. This work could not have been produced in another medium such as print. This is because the author took advantage of the digital medium to add parts to the story that require a digital medium. This includes the text changing before the reader’s eyes and having text added to them while the paragraph is still on the page. Even if Trotter did not need the digital medium for the type of story being told, the author would probably still choose to publish his work online. For one, he could have predicted the popularity of ebooks and online text. His background in researching both digital and printed literature is a sign that perhaps this work was part of a project to get his doctorate.

The author uses HTML to convey his writing in various HTML techniques. The story started with a paragraph that is a letter addressed from L to G. At the end of the message there is an arrow, presumably to continue the message. Instead, there is a list added to the right. The list is numbered 12-62 and has no title. Many numbers are either repeated or missing, but they are all in order. At the end of the list, there is an arrow. Another letter is shown next to the list, and the item for the first instance no.47, “Repeat is intentional”, repeats. A letter is shown again, and the story delves into a report about L, who killed his wife. Multiple people of interest in the case are interviewed, and with the addition of each new paragraph, the previous witness accounts change slightly, and in a split second. This quick change of a few words forces the reader to focus. The reader will only be able to understand what parts of the text changed by carefully reading the text before clicking the arrow to reveal the next paragraph. This is the only technique that can be used to understand the text as there is no back arrow.