frequently asked questions about hypertext

As I was gone on Friday, I did some poking around on the electronic literature collection myself and found Frequently Asked Questions About Hypertext. The work parodies the form of an FAQ website with the purpose of informing its user about different aspects of hypertext. With only about nine FAQ categories ranging from "What is Hypertext?" to "How about the Richards Posttranssexual Rereading?" the work is not long, but it quickly transforms itself from a possible source of authority as the reader realizes the humorous analyses are interspersed with fictional "real life" stories of its author dealing with various criticisms of his work.

In a quirky way, the piece actually works in its promised descriptive function of hypertext, even though those descriptions are fictional. Although its form is misleading by nature, the intent of the author never seems to be to try to actually deceive the reader. The reader is expected to recognize the playful tone and immediately connect that to its unexpected form. The last FAQ category, "Who Am I?" (as in the reader), begins by thanking the reader for supporting the FAQ site and is suddenly interrupted by the "Hypertext Authors Liberation Front" which has managed to "hack in" to the actual content of the website to post their deviant message. All of these meta-fictional constructions play with the definition of hypertext as a malleable form, and question the interplay between author and reader.