CM - časopis za upravljanje komuniciranjem
how to cite this article
share this article


  • citations in SCIndeks: 0
  • citations in CrossRef:0
  • citations in Google Scholar:[]
  • visits in previous 30 days:5
  • full-text downloads in 30 days:2


article: 2 from 4  
Back back to result list
2014, vol. 9, iss. 30, pp. 35-54
For an archeology of online participatory literary writing: Hypertext and hyperfiction
Università degli Studi di Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy
Keywords: hypertext; collaborative fiction; literary theory; history of computing; media archaeology; cultural participation
This article analyzes one of the roots of contemporary online participatory writing practices within the literary field, focusing on an object that had its theoretical heyday twenty years ago: hypertextual fiction. Invented in the sixties by social informatics visionary Ted Nelson, the word "hypertext" gained academic attention in the humanities in the early nineties with the works (among others) of George P. Landow, Paul Delany, David Bolter and Stuart Moulthrop. In 1992, in his review of Michal Joyce's Afternoon (still credited as one of the first pieces of hypertext fiction) Robert Coover (1992) wrote in The New York Times Book Review: "much of the novel's alleged power is embedded in the line […] [T]hrough print's long history, there have been countless strategies to counter the line's power […] but true freedom from the tyranny of the line is perceived as only really possible now at last with the advent of hypertext, written and read on the computer, where the line in fact does not exist unless one invents and implants it in the text". Since then, hypertext started to be defined as an artefact empowering the reader to subvert the linear text and the author's authority, and thus, within a post-structural and postmodern theoretical framework, deconstructing and subverting the very roots of power tout court. By addressing hypertext theory (a mixture of history of textual forms, of reading practices, and of technologies of memory, semiotics, post-structuralist and feminist theory, etc.) and tracing the influences of postmodern literature and the literary avantgardes on hypertext fiction, the article will thus investigate both the construction of hypertext as a participatory "cultural object" - in Wendy Griswold's (1994) terms - and the legacy of that theoretical debate and those artistic practices in contemporary reflections on online collaborative literary writing.
Aarseth, E. (1997) Cybertext: Perspectives on ergodic literature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University press
AAVV (1989) Hypertext 1987: Proceedings. New York: ACM, Accessed 28.07.2013. URL:
Abbate, J. (1999) Inventing the Internet. Cambridge, Mass: MIT press
Barthes, R. (1970) S/Z. Paris: Seuil
Baudrillard, J. (1981) Simulacres et simulation [Simulacra and simulation]. Paris: Éditions Galilée
Berk, E., Devlin, J. (1991) Hypertext/Hypermedia handbook. New York: Intertext/McGraw
Bertens, H. (1995) The idea of the postmodern: A history. London: Routledge
Bishop, C. (2010) Antagonism and relational aestetics. in: Dezeuze A. [ed.] The ‘do-it-yourself' artwork: Participation from Fluxus to new media, Manchester: Manchester University press, pp. 257-280
Bolter, J.D. (1991) Writing space: The computer, hypertext, and the history of writing. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum
Borràs, L., Memmott, T., Raley, R., Stefans, B., eds. (2011) Electronic literature collection. Cambridge, Mass: Electronic Literature Organization, Volume two, Accessed 28. 07. 2013. URL:
Bourriaud, N. (1998) Esthétique relationnelle [Relational aesthetics]. Dijon: Les presses du réel
Bush, V. (1945) As we may think. Atlantic Monthly, 176, 1, 641-649
Campagnoli, R., Hersant, Y. (1973) OULIPO - La littérature potentielle (Créations Re-créations Récréations). Paris: Gallimard
Carpentier, N. (2007) Participation and media. in: Cammaerts B., Carpentier N. [ed.] Reclaiming the media communication rights and democratic media roles, London: Intellect, pp. 87-91
Carpentier, N., Dahlgren, P., Pasquali, F. (2014) The democratic (media) revolution: A parallel genealogy of political and media participation. in: Carpentier N., Schroder K., Hallett L. [ed.] Audience transformations: Shifting audience positions in late modernity, London: Routledge, pp. 123-141
Carpentier, N. (2011) The concept of participation: If they have access and interact, do they really participate?. CM - časopis za upravljanje komuniciranjem, vol. 6, br. 21, str. 13-36
Ceruzzi, P.E. (1998) A history of modern computing. Cambridge, Mass: MIT press
Coover, R. (1992) The end of books. New York Times Book Review, 1, 23-25
Coover, R., i dr. (1993) The Hypertext Hotel. Providence, Mass: Brown University
Cornis-Pope, M. (2000) Hypertextual and networked communication in undergraduate literature classes: Strategies for an interactive critical pedagogy. in: Hickey D., Reiss D. [ed.] Learning literature in an era of change, Sterling, VA: Stylus, pp. 152-67
Crosby, B. (1995) Convivial cybernetics devices: From vacuum tube flip-flops to the singing Altair: An interview with Lee Felsenstein (Part 1): The analytical engine. Newsletter of the Computer History Association of California, 3 (1), November, Accessed 28.07.2013. URL:
Delany, P., Landow, G. (1991) Hypermedia and literary studies. London, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press
Delany, P., Landow, G.P. (1993) The digital word: Text-based computing in the humanities. London, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press
Deleuze, G., Guattari, F. (1980) Mille plateaux. Capitalisme et schizophrénie [A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia]. Paris: Minuit
Dezeuze, A. (2010) The do-it-yourself artwork. Participation from Fluxus to new media. Manchester: Manchester University Press
Douglas, J.Y. (1994) I have said nothing. The Eastgate Quarterly Review of Hypertext, I, (2)
Douglas, J.Y. (2000) The end of books: Or books without end? Reading interactive narratives. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan press
Eko, U. (1962) Opera aperta: Forma e indeterminazione nelle poetiche contemporanes. Milano: Bompiani
Ensslin, A. (2007) Canonizing hypertext: Eplorations and constructions. London: Continuum
Eruli, B., ur. (1994) Attenzione al potenziale! Il gioco della letteratura. Firenze: Marco Nardi
Flichy, P. (1995) Linnovation technique. Paris: La Decouverte
Flichy, P. (1999) The Construction of New Digital Media. New Media & Society, 1(1): 33-39
Flichy, P. (2001) Limaginaire dInternet. Paris: La Decouverte
Foster, H., ur. (1985) Postmodern culture. London: Pluto
Foucault, M. (1969) Qu'est-ce qu'un auteur? / What is an author?. Bulletin de la Societé Française de Philosophie, 43, 73-95
Gere, C., Gardiner, H. (2010) Art practice in a digital culture: Digital research in the arts and humanities. London: Ashgate
Gillespie, W., Marquardt, F., Rettberg, S., Stratton, D. (1998) The unknown. Accessed 20. 11. 2013. URL
Gitelman, L. (1999) Scripts, grooves, and writing machines: Representing technology in the Edison Era. Palo Alto, Ca: Stanford University press
Graham, B. (2010) What kind of participative system?: Critical vocabularies from new media art. in: Dezeuze A. [ed.] The ‘Do-it-Yourself' artwork: Participation from Fluxus to new media, Manchester: Manchester University press, pp. 281-305
Griswold, W. (1994) Cultures and societies in a changing world. London, itd: Pine Forge Press
Guedj, R.A., ten Hagen, P.J.W., Hopgood, F.R., Tucker, H.A., Duce, D.A., ur. (1980) Methodology of interaction. Amsterdam: North Holland
Hamilton, J.W. (2003) Remaking Media Participation in Early Modern England. Journalism, 4(3): 293-313
Haraway, D. (1991) Simians, cyborgs, and women: The reinvention of nature. London: Routledge
Hayles, K.N. (2002) Writing machines. Cambridge: MIT press
Hayles, N.K., Montfort, N., Rettberg, S., Strickland, S., ur. (2006) Electronic literature collection. College Park, Maryland: Electronic literature organization, Volume One, Accessed 28.07.2013. URL:
Illich, I. (1973) Tools for conviviality. New York: Harper & Row
Jackson, S. (1994) Patchwork girl. Cambridge, Mass: Eastgate Systems
Jameson, F. (1984) Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of late capitalism. New Left Review, 146, 53-92
Jenkins, H., Carpentier, N. (2013) Theorizing participatory intensities: A conversation about participation and politics. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 19(3): 265-286
Joyce, M. (1988) Siren shapes: Exploratory and constructive hypertexts. Academic computing, 3, 4, 10-42
Joyce, M. (1992) Afternoon: A story. Cambridge Mass: Eastgate Systems
Landow, G. (2006) Hypertext 3. O: Critical theory and new media in the age of globalization. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Landow, G.P. (1992) Hypertext: The convergence of contemporary critical theory and technology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University press
Landow, G.P., ur. (1994) Hyper/text/theory. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University press
Lanham, R.A. (1989) The Electronic Word: Literary Study and the Digital Revolution. New Literary History, 20(2): 265
Lévy, P. (1995) Qu'est-ce que le virtuel? / Becoming virtual. Paris: La Découverte
Levy, S. (1984) Hackers: Heroes of the computer revolution. New York: Bantam
Liestøl, G. (1994) Wittgenstein, Genette, and the reader's narrative in hypertext. in: Landow G.P. [ed.] Hyper/text/theory, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University press, pp. 87-120
Macphail, W. (1991) Hypertext and journalism: Towards a new mass medium. in: Berk E., Devlin J. [ed.] Hypertext/hypermedia handbook, New York: Intertext/McGraw Hill, pp. 460-64
Markus, M. (1990) Toward a critical mass’ theory of interactive media. in: Fulk J., Steinfeld C. [ed.] Organization and communication technology, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, pp. 194-218
Marvin, C. (1998) When old technologies were new: Thinking about electric communication in the late nineteenth century. New York: Oxford University press
Mcdaid, J. (1991) Uncle Buddy's phantom funhouse. Cambridge, Mass: Eastgate Systems
Mcgann, J. (2001) Radiant textuality: Literature after the World Wide Web. New York: Palgrave Macmillan
Mchale, B. (1987) Postmodernist fiction. London: Methuen
Mcmillan, S.J. (2002) Exploring models of interactivity from multiple research traditions: Users, documents and systems. in: Livingstone S., Liewrouv L.H. [ed.] The handbook of new media, London: Sage, pp. 199-236
Meyrowitz, N. (1989) Hypertext: Does it reduce cholesterol, too?. in: AAVV, Hypertext ’89, Proceedings, New York: ACM
Montfort, N. (2003) Twisty little passages: An approach to interactive fiction. Cambridge, Mass: MIT press
Moulthorpe, S. (1991) Victory garden. Cambridge Mass: Eastgate Systems
Moulthrop, S. (1991) Special hypertext section. Writing on the edge, 2, 2, 78-159
Moulthrop, S. (1991) Beyond the electronic book: A critique of hypertext rhetoric. in: Furuta R.K., Stotts D.P. [ed.] Hypertext ‘Third ACM conference on hypertext. Proceedings, San Antonio, Texas. New York, 91: 291-298
Moulthrop, S. (1991) Toward a paradigm for reading hypertexts: Making nothing happen in hypermedia fiction. in: Berk E., Devlin J. [ed.] Hypertext/hypermedia handbook, New York: Intertext/McGraw Hill, pp. 65-78
Moulthrop, S. (1994) Rhizome and resistance: Hypertext and the dreams of a new culture. in: George P. [ed.] Hyper/text/theory, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University press, pp. 299-319
Murray, J.M. (1997) Hamlet on the Holodeck: The future of narrative in cyberspace. New York: Free press
Nelson, H.T. (1974) Computer lib/dream machines. Seattle: Microsoft, Theodor Holm Nelson. Rev. edition
Nelson, H.T. (1990) Literary machines 90. 1. Sausalito: Mindful Press, Theodor Holm Nelson. Rev. edition
Nelson, T.H. (1992) Opening hypertext: A memoir. in: Tuman M.C. [ed.] Literacy online: The promise (and peril) of reading and writing with computers, Pittsburg: University of Pittsburg press, pp. 43-57
Nelson, T.H. (1977) The home computer revolution
Nyce, J.M., Kahn, P.D., ur. (1991) From Memex to hypertext: Vannevar Bush and the mind's machine. San Diego: Academic
Pasquali, F. (2003) I nuovi media fra tecnologie e discorsi sociali. Roma: Carocci
Pomian, J., Souchier, E. (1988) Les machines écrivantes ou l'écriture virtuelle. Traverses, 44-45, 108-119
Popper, F. (1975) Art, action and participation. London: Studio Vista
Rheingold, H. (2000) Tools for thought. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press
Ryan, M. (2005) Peeling the onion: Layers of interactivity in digital narrative texts. Accessed 28. 07. 2013. URL
Simpson, J., Weiner, E., ur. (1993) Oxford English dictionary additions series. Oxford: Clarendon press, vol. II
Turkle, S. (1984) The second self: Computers and the human spirit. New York: Simon & Schuster
Ulmer, G.L. (1990) Teletheory: Grammatology in the age of video. London: Routledge
van Dijck, J. (2013) The culture of connectivity: A critical history of social media. London: Oxford University press
Wardrip-Fruin, N., Montfort, N., ur. (2003) The new media reader. Cambridge, Mass: MIT press
Williams, R. (1976) Keywords: A vocabulary of culture and society. London: Fontana
Woolley, B. (1992) Virtual worlds: A journey in hype and hyperreality. London: Blackwell


article language: English
document type: unclassified
DOI: 10.5937/comman1430045P
published in SCIndeks: 20/03/2014