The Electronic Labyrinth

The Non-linear Tradition in Literature

While hypertext technology provides new and rich possibilities for reconceiving the very shape and form of The Book, writers have long registered their resistance to the strictures of closure and the novel. Many texts produced as printed books anticipate the non-sequential narratives of hyperbooks and others offer particularly instructive examples of how the very form of publication can serve as a vehicle of artistic expression.

Print works of interest include:

Sterne's Tristram Shandy
Robbe-Grillet's In The Labyrinth
Nabokov's Pale Fire
Cortázar's Hopscotch
O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds
Ballard's The Atrocity Exhibition
Calvino's The Castle of Crossed Destinies
Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars
Pavic's Landscape Painted With Tea

A wide and various range of hyperbooks has already been produced which greatly extend the boundaries of The Book. From Michael Joyce's experiments with narrative in the groundbreaking Afternoon, A Story to the mixed-media HyperCard stack of Beyond Cyberpunk!, the short history of the electronic hypertext already augurs for a bright future.

Other electronic works of interest include:

FitzGerald's Yet Still More
Gess' Mahasukha Halo
Guyer & Petry's Izme Pass
Joyce's WOE
Malloy's Its Name Was Penelope
Malloy's Wasting Time
Malloy's Thirty Minutes in the Late Afternoon
McDaid's Uncle Buddy's Phantom Funhouse
Moulthrop's Dreamtime
Willmot's Everglade

© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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