Scrapbooking has caught my attention recently, mainly because of a seminar I’m currently teaching on scrapbooks as literary documents. As a dedicated Ouida fan, I put together an unembellished digital scrapbook fairly early on in the life of my fandom; and later, I created a somewhat traditional “analog” scrapbook assembled from printed newspaper clippings (granted, the clippings came from digital surrogates that were printed with a desktop computer printer). Lately, however, I have been particularly interested in experimenting within the aesthetic confines and visual language of contemporary digital scrapbooking. I am fascinated by the idea of storytelling or even creating an atmospheric sense of cohesiveness with these subtle visual cues. It is a cohesion, it seems, that is dialogically enmeshed with one’s textual formation of the “author function,” the celebrity more than the author herself.
Exhibited here, my first attempt at creating a contemporary Ouida-themed layout. One must forgive its primitive rusticity. The neophyte quality of it is clearly indicative of my status as a novice in this craft. Nevertheless, it attempts to convey the feeling of the young novelist just as she began to build a transnational readership.
The second layout marks a return to the minimal style found in the pages of my first Ouida-themed digital scrapbook. This current iteration of the minimal, however, is slightly more embellished, and it is more in keeping with current trends. The story it tells is one of Ouida in maturity but also in decline.
I look forward to creating more layouts in the future and hopefully improving along the way.