A personal piece about waking dreams, mysticism, and verticality in Scandinavian theatre and videogames. I discuss Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder and When We Dead Awaken, next to a special level from Nifflas’ Knytt Stories.
It’s been a while since I wrote anything serious about literature, but recently I was reminded of an essay I wrote in 2008, about the question of authorship in the cyberpunk works of Kenji Siratori. I never did anything with the piece at the time, but felt it was interesting enough to brush it up and give it another chance.
In short, I question how we should apply the “death of the author” as proclaimed by Roland Barthes to literature that provokes strong questions about the nature of its own author.
Recently I had a dream wherein I was repeatedly meeting a dark-haired woman, predominantly in my workplace and other day-to-day environments. On a very literal level - as far as any such thing exists in dreams - it was just someone who appeared to take pleasure in my company and who came to see me often, me enjoying her company and the attention it brought, but not desiring any relations beyond friendship. My self-effacing side would say she was a projection of latent narcissism. However, on an emotional and symbolic level, there was a deeper attraction, but at the same time a mortal fear or sense of danger. This seemingly normal woman was at some non-apparent level a femme fatale.
While development and play on The Endless Forest, the first public release by Tales of Tales was still going strong, Auriea and Michaël had been working on new concepts. One of them, which borrowed elements from their unfinished project 8, would later become The Path, which was released in 2009, and which will be the subject of our next and most extended feature on this Flemish design studio. The other was a shorter, more modest project, and quicker to develop for a final release as well. It was the digital vignette called The Graveyard, and the first of the Tale of Tales titles to be distributed semi-commercially online, beyond the confines of their own website.