Rants and Theory

Posted on 12/07/2011 by


Icky Theory. Skip it if You Like

Before jumping into posting (more) Bibliotek (or other fiction), I should start by explaining the idea behind my use of this site.

For Bibliotek specifically—as the creative part of my PhD in e-publishing, and as a story of the future of publishing itself—an online presentation is a must.

However, this isn’t about ‘electronic literature’ as Hayles or Landow would have it, as I’m not too interested in hypertext narratives (fascinating as they are, I find them somewhat paradoxically limiting to read. See the note on Reader-response coming below.)

Neither am I putting it out here as an exercise in dynamic writing, where the piece is being written collaboratively with the (w)readership.

Instead, I hope for a kind of textual performance; where it is the reader community who performs the reading in public. Related to Reader-response, this should form a para- and meta-textual actualisation of indeterminacies, much as a ‘hyperwork’* to the static hypertext itself.

Yeah, think ‘reading group,’ fanfiction, derivative works, annotations, all an integral part of the presentation of the seed text itself (Bibliotek).

As the site goes on, we’ll be implementing ways to make this connection easier, while for now it’s quite limited.

I’m also aware this will bring up issues of ownership, so at the moment, view anything you create your own, and you’ve no claim on another’s posts. This is going to change, though only in increasingly permissive ways (ways in which I’ll be bound, too).

For an idea of where I’m heading, go read Nina Paley’s wonderful use of ‘Creator Endorsed’ (she’s in conversation v Creative Commons with Doctorow). We’ll move somewhere toword there, though I’m still researching exactly how.

If you’ve got this far, I’m going to have to start thinking of prizes for my masochistic audience members!


I’ll get back to you!

*Landow briefly discusses a kind of hyperwork, where he too cites Iser’s Reading Process to describe a reader’s actualisation of a text via navigation of hyperlink. Perhaps my use of the term could better be called hyperwork 2.0, where linked readings display response. This still leaves the individual reader to fill the atomic textual indeterminacies, however, I feel it meets the spirit of Reader-response in a linked world view. It is a way of performing the actualisation process in public.

Posted in: Hyperwork, Paul