I’m about to rip my hair out trying to get access to Afternoon and Patchwork Girl. I’ve tried Macs, I’ve tried PCs, basically I’m just frustrated. However, these sentiments underscore our discussion questions for today’s readings: What happens when we can’t read this stuff anymore and how do we preserve it? When I Googled “run Mac classic mode,” it became apparent that others have struggled with similar problems. When technology advances, what gets left behind?
In Hypertext 2.0, George Landow claims that, “Scholarly articles situate themselves within a field of relations, most of which the print medium keeps out of sight and relatively difficult to follow…Electronic hypertext, in contrast, makes individual references easy to follow and the entire field of interconnections obvious and easy to navigate” (4). The classification of text as difficult and hypertext as easy to navigate is overly simplistic. Decisions about clarity and ease of reading and navigation still remain largely with the author. For example, The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot is poetically cryptic, despite the use of hypertext. In this case, the hypertext functions as a means to create nonlinear poetry, not as a way to help the reader understand the references made within. Stephanie Strickland’s use of hypertext is certainly a cool way to present her words, yet the concept is hardly novel. I think it is important to remember that books are not required to be read in a linear fashion. One of my favorite books is an example of the nonlinear novel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopscotch_(Julio_Cortázar_novel).