Marilyn Monroe wanted to prove a point. It was a sunny summer day in New York City, 1955. With a magazine editor and a photographer in tow, Marilyn walked down into Grand Central Terminal. Though it was the middle of a busy workday and the platform was packed with people, not a single person noticed her as she stood waiting for the subway. As the photographer’s camera clicked, she boarded the train and rode along quietly in a corner of the car. Nobody recognized her.
There are no lack of Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad, but the newest Kickstarter project is most impressive. Called Brydge, the wireless keyboard makes the iPad look more like a MacBook Air than anything I’ve seen yet. Backing starts at $150 and the project will fund if it tops $90,000 by June 4.
True, the hypertext offers you the puzzle-solving pleasure of making sense of the story, arranging the pieces in your head to see the whole mosaic, but why would you do that, if the pieces don’t suggest a picture you care to see?
.. the early hypertextualists just weren’t good enough writers to carry off such a difficult form. Because it is a difficult form. Hard as it is to write novels, hypertexts are harder, because you don’t have the spring-loaded crutch of linearity and “arc” to support your work; the sections have to be readable along multiple paths; they have to be richly related in multiple ways; and they have to keep you reading.
.. On the other, the form fits with life now. So much of what we do is hyperlinked and mediated by screens that it feels important to find a way to reflect on that condition, and fiction, literature, has long afforded us the possibility of reflection.
It was a high school dropout, Ted Nelson, who is probably the single most important figure in the development of hypertext, providing a model which has, substantially, become the central paradigm around which hypertextual theory and practice has developed. Not only did he coin the very term 'hypertext' back in 1965, but he has dominated how we think about it and the forms that it has therefore taken.