Hypertext, First Discussion (Week 4)


Primary Texts

1. Michael Joyce, afternoon, a story
URL: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/pmaf/hypertext/aft/index.html

**SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS**: If you have to prioritize among the readings for this week, be sure to reserve time to read/be befuddled by/come to appreciate this text. Try (as best you can) to give sustained attention to the pages of this fiction (note: we’ll be discussing how you fared in attempting to do so). I was unable to get the story working using Firefox. It does work in Chrome. PLEASE CHECK NOW WHETHER IT WORKS ON YOUR COMPUTER. You might need IT help to load it.

BEFORE or AFTER you read the piece, you might want to read a little bit about Storyspace. Two helpful spots where you can do so are at the Storyspace website:


And in this really helpful article at Digital Humanities Quarterly:


2. Jane Douglas, I Have Said Nothing

URL: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/pmaf/hypertext/ihsn/i_have_said_nothing.html

Special Instructions: Please follow the link labeled “Are We Reading Yet? A Few Suggestions for Navigation” and read the content on the linked page.

3. Judy Malloy, The Roar of Destiny

URL: http://www.well.com/user/jmalloy/roarofdestiny/control.html

Special Instructions: I’d urge you to read the short discussion of this work on I ♥ E-Poetry before you look at Malloy’s text: http://iloveepoetry.com/?p=351. PREPARE TO BE CONFUSED by this one. If you find it daunting, you may focus your time elsewhere. Just be sure that you spend enough time with it to get a sense of how it works.

4. Deena Larsen, Marble Springs [Just preview] http://www.eastgate.com/MS/Title_184.html

Special Instructions: You can only read excerpts here. I’ve included it so that you get a sense of the range of approaches to the new form in the early period of Hypertext fiction.

5. Richard Holeton, Frequently Asked Questions about Hypertext http://collection.eliterature.org/1/works/holeton__frequently_asked_questions_about_hypertext/index.html

No special instructions.


1. Samples from the Pathfinders Project

URL: http://dtc-wsuv.org/wp/pathfinders/description/

Note: We will be chatting in class about this project. If you have time, click around the site to read about the project. There are number of film clips featuring key figures in the early hypertext fiction movement.

2. Dirk Van Hulle, “Hypertext and Avant-texte

URL: http://digitalhumanities.org/companion/view?docId=blackwell/9781405148641/9781405148641.xml&chunk.id=ss1-5-1&toc.id=0&brand=9781405148641_brand

Special Instructions: Let’s file this under the heading of “Absolutely Optional.” If you want to dig deeper into the theory and history of hypertext literature, here’s your chance.


Steven Johnson, “Why No One Clicked on the Great Hypertext Story”

URL: http://www.wired.com/2013/04/hypertext/#anchor-one

Paul Lafarge, “Why the Book’s Future Never Happened”

URL: http://www.salon.com/2011/10/04/return_of_hypertext/

Special Instructions: These pieces reflect on claims made in the nineties about the future of hypertext fiction. Both are worth reading. If pressed for time, you may choose one.


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