Friday, November 10, 2006

Hypertext Literature

Perusing the Electronic Literature Directory, I came across 2002: A Palindrome Story. What I find amazing is that the authors managed to write (with the aid of a program called Deep Seed) such a long palindrome that actually makes sense. No, really, it does! Maybe not the first time through, but read it a second or third time, and you’ll get it. It’s actually quite good. Then again, if disjointed, hallucinatory stream of consciousness narratives aren’t your thing… maybe you’ll want to pass.

To read this takes a lot of patience, but it’s worth it. Passages that don’t make sense in the first half, end up being important details in the second half, when they’re read in reverse. Plus, because of the story’s disjointed nature, there is room for a great deal of personal interpretation of its events.

Here’s some possible interpretations of the plot. Personally, I’m of the opinion that the events are taking place over the course of one or two days, not a whole year, but that’s just me.

Another discovery I made on the Electronic Literature Directory was 8 Minutes. While the narrative is kind of interesting, the presentation leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. The story is broken up into little segments, each with their own web page.

Ok, that’s fine. However, each page has a timer, and will automatically proceed to the next page in the sequence. Ok, that’s not so good. For some pages the timer was too fast, meaning the page changed before I was finished reading the text. For others, the timers were a tad slow.

Either way, it made for a kind of passive experience that I didn’t care for. If I only wanted to watch something flash at me, I’d choose something with color and graphics, not just text.


Post a Comment

<< Home