June 21, 1992
                                          Add:       March 2000 

Robert Coover's "The Death of the Book"				       
in the NYT book Review (6/21/92).  All				       
about creative writing workshop
experiments with hypertextual fiction.

The "Death of the Novel" line he takes
is a bit overblown, but it's a fairly
interesting article.

   "Print may be read as
    hypertext, but hypertext 
    may not be read as print."

              (Which is awfully reminscent of   
	      the "embrace and extend" ploy...)	

I've always just assumed that fiction
where the actual underlying structure is
hypertextual is just a kind of dumb        Like the brief craze for 
idea, something that will always be at     "Interactive Fiction",  
best a marginal art form.                  where you make choices at 
                                           the end of each passage. 
The problem of "closure" that 
Coover sites has always seemed             First and foremost being Charles 
like an insoluble problem to me            Platt's "Norman vs.  America", a 
in a non-linear work of fiction.           story told in something like 
Maybe this isn't true, though.             underground comic book format, 
                                           published in the Quark series of 
For instance, you can write a              anthologies. 
work with multiple possible paths 
through the material, all of               Come to think of it, at the end 
which have a certain sense of              of it, he even had an over-view 
closure of their own.  A tree              map of all the possible paths 
pattern, a single root problem or          through the material (something 
conflict, resolved in different            that some hypertext systems have 
ways...  (A critic of Zelazny's            incorporated as a feature to help 
conclusion to the Amber series             prevent getting lost). 
might pick the point where the 
man went wrong, and try to  
finish it in a different way.        
Great, unfinished novels like        
"The Last Tycoon" present such a                            
challenge that they may inspire      
multiple writers to attempt          
different endings. )                 
A loop pattern (like the figure 8
that began the doomfile) has a             DESPERATE 
definite sense of closure about
There's the random deck of cards
approach.  Say one of Adliss's
"triptychs", only set up to be
read in any order.  The same
narrative told from a half dozen
different view points, with none
of them given primacy?

Well, maybe it has possiblities.  

I don't exactly see the point of it all
however.  Don't see *why* you'd do it.

What's the problem with the linear
If it's not broke...