afternoon, a story

by Michael Joyce
Medium: Storyspace



The literature on afternoon is large, but four key essays stand out.

Jane Yellowlees Douglas wrote the first doctoral dissertation on hypertext fiction, and that dissertation forms the basis of her The End of Books; or books without end. She studied afternoon with care, exploring and mapping its structure, and her reading logs form the first foundation for serious hypertext criticism.

Robert Coover's New York Times review, The End Of Books?, aroused great enthusiasm and great controversy.

Espen Aarseth's discussion of afternoon in his monograph, Cybertext, argues that afternoon had been misread as a postmodern work, and that its sensibilities and technique were fundamentally (essentially?) modern.

Jill Walker's Engelbart-Award winning essay, "Tearing Apart and Piecing Together" (Hypertext '99) is an especially fine narratological study of afternoon. Hypertext critics in the late '90's had been concerned with questions of time in hypertext -- see essays by Rosenberg and by Luesebrink, for example -- and Walker's response was so convincing that the field was redirected.

Also of great interest are chapters on afternoon by Jay David Bolter, Joyce's longtime collaborator, in Writing Space, and by George P. Landow in Hypertext: the convergence of contemporary critical theory and technology.

Matt Kirschenbaum reviews the textual history of afternoon in Mechanisms (MIT Press, 2008).

(ToDo: add links and proper citations. Track down additional articles. See especially Ensslen, Cicoricco, Wardrip-Fruin)