The Persistence of Genius: The Case for Stuart Moulthrop's "Victory Garden"

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

In his essay, “The American Hypertext Novel, and Whatever Became of It?,” Scott Rettberg discusses the impact of hypertext fiction before the mainstreaming of the World Wide Web, arguing that the "link and node hypertext" approach represented by early stand alone software like Storyspace was “eclipsed . . . by a range of other digital narrative forms” (Rettberg, “The American Hypertext Novel”). His essay goes on to reference important examples of hypertext fiction––Michael Joyce’s afternoon, a story (featured in Chapter 1 of this book) as well as Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl and Stuart Moulthrop’s Victory Garden. Of these, both Joyce’s and Jackson’s novels are still accessible to the reading public; Moulthrop’s is not. As a digital preservationist of interactive media whose mission it is to maintain public access to our literary and cultural heritage, the question this essay asks is, “Has the lack of accessibility to Moulthrop’s novel affected research about it?”

Pull Quotes: 

If my study of the 13 editions of Joyce’s afternoon, a story sheds light on the challenges of keeping a work alive amid technological innovation, [1] then this study of the critical response to Moulthrop’s Victory Garden reveals the way in which a work lives on despite the lack of accessibility to it.

Works referenced:

Platforms referenced:

Title Developers Year initiated
Storyspace 1987

Publishers referenced:

Title Location
Eastgate Systems, Inc.
Eastgate Systems, Inc.
134 Main Street
02472 Watertown , MA
United States
Massachusetts US
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Dene Grigar