Victory Garden

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Description (in English): 

The Gulf War and its media frenzy serves as the backdrop for this Dickensian tale of campus politics, seduction, burglary, dissent, unsafe driving, and war.

(Source: Victory Garden - Eastgate Systems)

Victory Garden is a hypertext novel which is set during the Gulf War, in 1991. The story centres on Emily Runbird and the lives and interactions of the people connected with her life. Although Emily is a central figure to the story and networked lives of the characters, there is no one character who could be classed as the protagonist. Each character in Victory Garden lends their own sense of perspective to the story and all characters are linked through a series of bridges and connections.

There is no set "end" to the story. Rather there are multiple nodes that provide a sense of closure for the reader. In one such "ending", Emily appears to die. However, in another "ending", she comes home safe from the war. How the story plays out depends on the choices the reader makes during their navigation of the text. The passage of time is uncertain as the reader can find nodes that focus on the present, flashbacks or even dreams and the nodes are frequently presented in a non-linear fashion. The choices the reader makes can lead them to focus on individual characters, meaning that while there are a series of characters in the story the characters focused on can change with each reading, or a particular place.

Upon entering the work the reader is presented with a series of choices as to how to navigate the story. The reader may enter the text through a variety of means: the map of the 'garden', the lists of paths, or by the composition of a sentence. Each of these paths guides the reader though fragmented pieces of the story (in the form of node) and by reading and rereading many different paths the reader receives different perspectives of the different characters.

(Source: Wikipedia entry on Victory Garden)

Critical writing that references this work:

Title Author Year
'I know what it was. You know what it was': Second Person Narration in Hypertext Fiction Alice Bell, Astrid Ensslin 2011
A New Media Reading Strategy Cheryl E. Ball 2005
Authors, Readers, and Progression in Hypertext Narrative Edward Maloney, James Phelan 1999
Autorschaft und digitale Literatur: Geschichte, Medienpraxis und Theoriebildung Heiko Zimmermann 2015
Born Digital: Writing Poetry in the Age of New Media Maria Engberg 2007
Canonizing Hypertext: Explorations and Constructions Astrid Ensslin 2007
Contextualizing the King of Space Dene Grigar 2018
Creating Screen-Based Multiple State Environments: Investigating Systems of Confutation Donna Leishman 2004
Cyberspace, Cybertexts, Cybermaps Marie-Laure Ryan 2004
Design som medievitenskapelig metode Anders Fagerjord 2012
Destination Unknown: Experiments in the Network Novel Scott Rettberg 2003
Digital Literature: From Text to Hypertext and Beyond Raine Koskimaa 2000
Digital Poetics: The Making of E-Poetries Loss Pequeño Glazier 2001
E-Borges: Stuart Moulthrop’s Victory Garden Álvaro Seiça 2012
Electronic Literature Scott Rettberg 2018
Fiction and Interaction: How Clicking a Mouse Can Make You Part of a Fictional World Jill Walker Rettberg 2003
First Half-Century of Electronic Literature at Brown Robert Coover, Robert Arellano 2019
Footnotes in Fiction: A Rhetorical Approach Edward Maloney 2005
For Thee: A Response to Alice Bell Stuart Moulthrop 2010
From Text to Hypertext: Decentering the Subject in Fiction, Film, the Visual Arts, and Electronic Media Silvio Gaggi 1997
Screen shots: 
Victory Garden cover image
Victory Garden map image
Victory Garden screenshot
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Jill Walker Rettberg