For my individual project, I would like to focus on the topic of where in the world outside of the Caribbean have books by Caribbean authors been read. While I would like to have a list of all foreign countries that Caribbean books have traveled to, my main interest is books that have been translated into languages that the Caribbean people do not speak. This was prompted through my work on the spreadsheet for the group project. While filling in the language column on the spreadsheet, I found a Japanese translation of a book by Reinaldo Arenas, got intrigued, and searched the book. A New York Times description of the book says “BEFORE NIGHT FALLS is an autobiography that covers the span of Arenas’s life, from early childhood to his suicide letter blaming Castro for all of his calamities, including his death.” From this description of the book, I wondered why a Japanese translation of such a book happened. If it could be that some Japanese people have experienced something akin to Arenas or if it was simply because it was a best-selling autobiography later to become a film. Nevertheless, the fact that the book reached such a far audience is impressive.
This project could take two different forms. The first is a geographic mapping/network mapping site with relationships and nodes from which pop-ups displaying appropriate information would appear when hovered over. The global map would start on a zoomed view of the Caribbean. There would be nodes on the place of birth of an author representing a book. From these nodes, a relationship/line connecting two nodes would stem. The node the relationship connects to would lead to a node giving information on the translator and the country outside the Caribbean where the book was published. Additional information as to why these translators translated the books and their relationship to the author would be added if found. The relationships would be color-coded so that each country outside the Caribbean can have a separate color. In this way, it is easy to see which countries outside the Caribbean have read the most Caribbean books. It also helps to show what different countries have read one book. For this, I would use ArcGis. However, this may pose problems in the navigation of the map if there is an author with many books and there is not enough space for the nodes to fit.
The second form the project could take is a semi-linear, customizable narrative. For this twine would be used. Perhaps the start of the site would be the different countries that authors come from. From there, a list of authors and then a list of their books. Once the user has chosen a book they can choose which relationship to another country they would like to explore. The story would continue like this until the user has exhausted the relationships of the book they can go through. Depending on the amount of information on the site the pages would continue to loop or bring the user to the home page.