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Astrid Ensslin – Canonizing Hypertext: Explorations and Constructions

A tendency that can be observed when traversing the list chronologically, particularly between first- and second-generation hypertext, is the increasing endeavour, performed successfully in the selected works, to abide by Ryan’s (2000) dictum that [t]he next generation of hypertexts will have to be visually pleasurable, and hypertext will be a work of design and orchestration as much as a work of writing … To remain readable, these conceptual hypertexts will have to be shorter than the hypertext novels of the first generation.

Scott Rettberg ‘The American Hypertext Novel, and Whatever Became of It?’

Both Afternoon and Patchwork Girl were extensive hypertexts, including a good deal of writing—according to Raine Koskimaa, 539 lexia (text spaces) in Afternoon and 323 in Patchwork Girl. Though Afternoon includes A Story in its somewhat humble title, both are clearly of such length and narrative development that they are properly considered novels. Stuart Moulthrop’s 1991 Victory Garden included 933 lexia.


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