its name was Penelope

Description (in English): 

The generative hyperfiction its name was Penelope is a collection of memories in which a woman photographer recollects the details of her life.

Like a photos in a photo album, each lexia represents a picture from the narrator's memory, so that the work is the equivalent of a pack of small paintings or photographs that the computer continuously shuffles. The reader sees things as she sees them and observes her memories come and go in a natural, yet nonsequential manner that creates a constantly changing order -- like the weaving and reweaving of Penelopeia's web.

Begun in 1988, the work was exhibited in a computer-mediated artists book version at the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, California in 1989. It has been re-created through the years. Four versions have been identified by Dene Grigar, in Rebooting Electronic Literature: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media: 

Version 1.0: "The exhibition version." Created in 1989 with Malloy's own generative hypertext authoring system, Narrabase II, in BASIC on a 3.5-inch floppy disk

Version 2.0: "The Narrabase Press version." Published in 1990, this version is an extensive revision of the 1989 version and features a new cover and the edited text; it was released on a 5.25-inch floppy disk, self-published via Narrabase Press, and distributed by Art Com Software. She reports that she may have produced copies on 3.5-inch floppy disks for later requests

Version 3.0: "The Eastgate version." This version is a retooling of Version 2.0 by Mark Bernstein from the original BASIC program into the Storyspace aesthetic
Version 3.1: Published on 3.5-inch floppy disk for both Mac and PC formats by Eastgate Systems, Inc. in 1993 but copyrighted in 1992
Version 3.2: Published on CD-ROM in 1998 with no changes from the original. This version does not appear on the Eastgate Systems, Inc. website

Version 4.0: "The Scholar's version." Created under the auspices of the Critical Code Studies Working Group 2016 from Jan 18 to Feb 14, 2016 as a DOSBox emulation of Version 3.0 and includes uses the new text and translations of the Odyssey by the author

A special note: An iPad version has been in development since 2012 by Eastgate Systems, Inc. It was designed with the same aesthetic as Version 3.0 but used the affordance of mobile touch technology for its functionality. To date, it has not been completed. 

its name was Penelope was reviewed in The New York Times Book ReviewWashington Post Book World, The Bay Guardian, Postmodern Culture, the Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, MFS Modern Fiction Studies, American Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, among others.  It was exhibited at the 2012 MLA Convention, The Electronic Literature Organization Conference, the University of Nevada, Reno, The Space, Boston, MA, and the Richmond Art Center, and, among many other collections,  is included in the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archive (video of reading) and the NYC Museum of Modern Art's special collections. (1990 Narrabase Press edition)

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Record posted by: 
Eric Dean Rasmussen