How Do I Cool Down the Overheated Medium? Reading Stuart Moulthrop's Hegirascope 2, "the most typical hypernovel"

Abstract (in English): 

Hegirascope appears to be structurally disorderly due to its disorienting hyperlinks and discomforting temporal pull. We suggest that, to grasp Hegirascope's structure, the first step is to stop it from running automatically. Once the temporal pull comes to a halt, one is able to sort through the content space for narrative threads and non-narrative units. The paper also illustrates the distinctive use of hyperlinks and color tricks, instances that exhibit the fluidity of digital materiality. This maneuvering of links and colors reveals Stuart Moulthrop's meticulous organization, which further posits that order is buried in the disorder of the apparent "narrative confetti." Hegirascope incorporates non-verbal (visual and interactive) elements into the narrative, in ways resonating with one of the print prototype--Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Based on this observation, the paper contends that Hegirascope is "the most typical hypernovel in digital literature," echoing Victor Shklovsky's statement that Tristram Shandy is "the most typical novel in world literature."

Source: Author's abstract

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Patricia Tomaszek