Persistence expands from a simple story into a complex digital work, drawing on the strengths of many media to intrigue, entertain, and even inspire.
At its heart is a story about an artist at a crossroads, uncertain which way to go, how to proceed, or whether to continue with his work at all. Persistence tells that story, tells the reader quite a bit about the artist, and explores the artist’s problem, but it also demonstrates, illustrates, and exemplifies the problem itself — and it represents a solution to the problem. It has something useful and encouraging to say to any artist, in any medium, who has felt the paralysis of self-doubt.
The work grows like a pearl. It begins with an irritant: an overheard conversation. One of the characters takes a fragment of that conversation and reports it in a restaurant review that appears in a glossy magazine. From there the accounts of the incident grow and expand, with each version fuller and richer than the one before it. Each layer expands on the preceding one. The ultimate version is a fully integrated digital work, not a digitized book dressed up with add-ons — and the result is a pleasure! It is gripping, intriguing, entertaining, stimulating, thought-provoking, and inspiring.
The Babbington Press is publishing Persistence step-by-step, layer-by-layer, version-by-version, revealing the complete work over time.
Added in version 1.1: Mark Dorset’s “How Did I Get into This?”; four entries for his topical autobiography: “Affectation,” “Autumn’s Promise,” “Idleness,” “Malice,” and “Mediocrity”; and the opening pages of what will become the last and longest entry in his topical autobiography, “Persistence, the Making of It.”
Added in Version 1.2: Mark Dorset’s account of the making of the “There I Was” section of Persistence.
Added in Version 1.3: Mark Dorset’s account of the making of the “Just Now, at Present” section of Persistence.
Added in Version 1.4: Mark Dorset’s account of the making of the “In an Undisclosed Location” section of Persistence.
Added in Version 1.5: Mark Dorset’s account of the making of the “In the Marketplace of Ideas” section of Persistence.
Added in Version 1.6: Mark Dorset’s account of the making of the “In the Center of Redefinition” section of Persistence.
Added in Version 1.7: Mark Dorset’s account of the making of Perseverance and B. W. Beath’s afterword to that book.
Added in Version 1.8: Mark Dorset’s account of the turn to multimedia.
Added in Version 1.9: reconstructions of overheard conversations that might have given rise to the entire project and Margot and Martha Glynn’s “It Fills a Void.”
Added in Version 2.0: videos inspired by the little books and Margot and Martha Glynn’s “It Means Something.”
Added in Version 2.1: BW Beath’s review of a restaurant in which review he recounts an overheard conversation that might have been the overheard conversation.
Added in Version 2.2: documentation of the Persistence event at the Center for Fiction, New York, New York.