Originally devised close to two years ago– depending on how you count and if all the aborted iterations should be included– Enchanted Assemblages is a multi-media project attempting to bring Thomas Malory’s Arthurian epic Le Morte Darthur to a new generation.
Enchanted Assemblages is the story of a group of college students navigating life. While enrolled in an English seminar on Thomas Malory, they get more than they bargained for when the educational game they were supposed to be playing goes “off script.” Now, caught between the confines of university and the limitless freedom of the virtual, our young heroes must confront the mystery of Vingaard while making the grade. If they are to earn their degree, they must first master Malory.
Enchanted Assemblages is a Lit-RPG or Literary Role-Playing Game; for those new to the genre, it is a literary exploration of video games. Assemblages feature many chapters of written content but also videos, and even pieces of so-called Interactive Fiction, which will allow you, the reader, to actively participate in this educational experience. As the characters play the game, you “play” the game!
To get the most out of this project, I recommend buying a copy of Le Morte Darthur for yourselves. Though I feel that any edition will do, including modern translations, to get the most out of your experience, I would suggest buying the Norton Critical Edition; this edition keeps Malory’s original Middle English intact and makes for fascinating cultural exploration. Though it is a hard text to read, you will be surprised at how quickly you will come to recognize words, especially if you follow along with an audiobook.
Ultimately, this project’s purpose is educational. In many scenes, there will be times where scholarly essays and books are referenced and talked about. When these moments arrive, I will try my best to publish the accompanying academic pieces so that you may read those pieces and follow along with the characters as they study. Often, I will post scenes that act as a character musing on questions and assignments given to them by the professor; when those times come, you are encouraged to complete the assignment yourself and even post, as a comment, your completed work.
All though Enchanted Assemblages is an educational project, it is not formally so. I mean that it does not follow Common Core standards. Likewise, some of the subject matter and language is likely not appropriate for most secondary schools. If you as an educator wish to use Enchanted Assemblages in your classroom, then you may do so without asking my permission. Just keep in mind that some of the content is likely to rile some features since I do not shy away from controversial and tough-to-talk about topics.
It is my hope that this project will inspire people to study medievalism and new medievalism, including medieval literature, for themselves. I hope that they will reject the many lies and distortions spread about the middle ages from Right-Wing extremists. In this day, appropriating the Middle Ages for many reactionary and backward causes is in vogue; the belief being that the Middle Ages were all White, cisgender, heterosexual and that it was a paradise for archaic social stances. Many academics have pushed back against this, however, and proved that it is simply false (for one of the best deconstructions of Race and the Middle Ages, see The Public Medievalist’s series “Race, Racism, and the Middle Ages“). Assemblages, then, is part of the Public Medievalism tradition of engagement and de-bunking. Through this project, I intend on diving into the heart of misunderstood ideas about both medievalism and Thomas Malory and will do so with passion and an eye for social justice.
With that in mind, please join me as I publish pieces and slowly build this journey! Cuddle up with one of the best Arthurian epics for yourself and let’s see if you can’t find how a medieval text can be relevant today.
Part 1: Reno’s Second Life
Chapter 1: Tangagile
(1.7) “Class: Day One” (Words: 1599)
(1.10) “Another Homework Session with the Breakfast Club” (Words: 1103)
(1.17) “Here Nor There” (Words: 901)
–+Handout: “The Society Role of Chivalry in Romance: Northwestern Europe.“; (1.18) “Kaeuper Questions” (Reader Response Opportunity).
Chapter 2: Narrative Machine Deluxe
How Often Will Enchanted Assemblages be Updated? (Announcement from project’s beginning.)
“Axel” (Character Profile)
“Sora Nightgale” (Character Profile)
“Chad & Mike Imo” (Character Profile)
“Airya Domino” (Character Profile)
“Issac Epitude” (Character Profile)
“The Party People” (Character Profile)
The Cube: Gateway to Another World (Locale Profile)