The Asian Tower (2010)

The Asian Tower (La Torre di Asian) is a multilingual and multimedia project in Second Life, by Asian Lednev (Fabio Fornasari) and Azzurra Collas (Lorenza Colicigno). As a virtual construction, it originates from the idea of turning virtual space into stories. As a collective novel, it is a narrative experiment and literary looking glass that makes our contemporary experiential and linguistic babel visible.

The project team included both professional and non-professional writers such as Rai Giuseppe Iannicelli (MacEwan Writer/William Nessuno), Susy Decosta, AtmaXenia Giha, Sunrise Jefferson (Albamarina Cervino), Margye Ryba (Carmen Auletta), Piega Tuqiri (Piero Gatti/Aldous Writer). Also, musician and artist Paolo Ferrario and multimedia artist Elisa Laraia have supported the project: a group of avatars and people who have accidentally met nearby the Tower, in the land of Post Utopia, and built around it a complex web of stories and interpretations of stories.

The Asian Tower (La Torre di Asian) is a collective novel originating from and set in the virtual world of Second Life. Most of the fifteen chapters are written by author collectives. Three of them, however – the first, the eighth and the last – are written by author and artist Azzurra Collas (Lorenza Colicigno) and can be considered as starting points for the stories of the other writers.

The novel’s center and link between all story elements is an actual tower in the virtual space, designed by Asian Lednev. Around it, words, images and emotions unfold in a meaningful, often ironic and visionary vortex. Such, the chapters’ different and sometimes contradictory narratives reflect the biblical concept of the linguistic Babel. The readers – or rather wreader’s (writer and reader) – intervention, embodied by the symbolic figure of Aldous Reader, makes the narrative even more unpredictable and varied.

To allow for a greater accessibility, the European eLiterature Collection included hyperlinks in the original work and published a revised version of The Asian Tower.

Review: Fabio de Vivo