Some early morning thoughts, random, leftover from last night’s reading…
There is a psychological realism quality about this novel and in thinking about previous hypertext stories, I believe that for one thing, it invites the style because of its text box format. I do not know (yet) how Storyspace affects the writer, but it would seem to me that a blank slate presented as a small box asks to be filled with an idea, a thought, an episode, but one that has sprouted from another box and that will surely connect to another and another. Does it force a concise image? I would think so since the box appears as a container, and small, versus a page whether in paper form or computer screen where visual knowledge of a continuous supply of blank pages is a given.
This lack of physical story–in other words, in a book, the unread being a mass in the right hand just as the knowledge, or known portion of the story (the read) is held in the left–may have something to do with the ethereal feeling of the story. Once something is read, it becomes memory. Memory is not something that can be weighed or displayed, but is just as real as the couch I see across from me, for when I close my eyes, the couch becomes a memory.
Does this quality of writing hypertext inspire a different style of story then? Would there need to be more grounding if this novel were in book form?
I’d read somewhere that hypertext is more like the natural process of thinking, of remembering, of plotting. Ideas come in snatches of often unrecognizably related thoughts. One idea may string itself out, then pinprick another into life.
In the middle of Ham Sandoval’s trial in the woods–over now, as he is found and rescued–I discover him at work in an office building, and the woods are a memory. Past and present and future are presented on a simultaneous concoction of three-dimensional planes. Time differences that may occur in book form as chapters or even as simple white space, occurs here without warning. A click, and you’re elsewhere in time and in space.
I would also say that with the benefit of some knowledge of acquaintance with the author here, there is a similarity in this chain of thinking style that may make certain writers more perfectly suited to the medium. Here, this seems to be the case.
And another trait of the medium: at 900+ text boxes (reading spaces) x 1000 links, not only are there 900,000 possible variations of the narrative structure of the store, there is the inevitability of never having read the story completely, missing text by not foregoing certain paths. Will a reader/discusser of this book format ever be honestly "finished?"