In class we had remediation explained as a way of breaking down the elements of one media and built up in other. Dylan was joking about this other day, refusing to call this “remediation,” and instead insisting on “re-media-ing.” I just accepted the idea that remediating television in a book is what it says it is, though I kept getting caught up in the way the presentation of “The Familiar” can get in the way of the understanding of the story.
But, in doing my other readings for class (“The Silent History”) a character describes mediation as being the barriers between us, and that got me thinking about this idea of remediation and presentation getting in between you and the text. OED defines mediation either in terms of standing between or separating into two. Remediation is defined in terms of repair and remedy. And of course, media is a means of mass communication.
For me, many of the presentation tricks in the book at best add little, and at worse actually get in the way of understanding. For example, Özgür’s font, Baskerville, means little to me (though I understand its relation to detective stories etc…) but it does not get in the way of understanding him. On the other hand the embedded layers of parenthetical text in Astair’s actually impairs my ability to track the events of her chapters. I understand at an intellectual level, these tricks can add characterization, but in practice, they don’t do so much for me, not as much as what is said, shown, etc… Does the use of Minion as Xanther’s font add anything for you?
So I guess my real question is, does what Danielewski is doing help or hinder your interaction with the text? Is it re-media-ation, remediation, or re-mediation for you? Is the presentation separate from the remediation (which ever meaning you choose) or is it integral?