as technology - Manuscripts /
Books / Hypertext
The book (codex) is extremely flexible and efficient but its material
processes and production/distribution centralises knowledge production,
limits access to information and controls the meaning of texts.
Hypertext refigures the properties of text and, it can be argued, the
nature and function of writing; or, to put another way, the paradigms of
knowledge and literary production.
Jay David Bolter, Writing Space:
The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing, Lawrence
Erlbaum, 1991. Bolter, ‘On the screen, as on medieval parchment,
verbal text and image interpenetrate to such a degree that the writer
and reader can no longer say where the pictorial space ends and the
verbal space begins.’ p74. Note: Bolter cites hypertext as latest
scenario in the history of writing.
& Lauren have been trying to send the class tables comparing hypertext writing with
print but some/most emails bounced.
ENSURE you have correct up to date emails for next class.
is Lauren's comments and table:
reading – Jay David Bolter, Writing
Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing;
‘Pictures In The Text’ (pg 71-74) – emphasises the impact of, and
correlation between, images and text. Bolter argues that the emergence
of hypertext and HTML codes that allow digital images and text to
coexist on a webpage is not revolutionary, but simply a further
development in the process of written communication. In other words,
hypertext has an historical precedent that can be traced back as far as
the 17,000 year old Lascaux cave paintings in France.
chapter focuses more on images and their intertwining relationships with
written text throughout history. The first example given is the
pictorial alphabet of the Egyptians, hieroglyphics, the first written
alphabet in known history (recent evidence has proved that hieroglyphs
were in use earlier than Sumerian cuneiform, which was believed to have
been the first written alphabet), and goes on to cite the heavily
illuminated Book of Kells and other medieval manuscripts as the only
form of codex where images and text are interwoven to the extent which
they appear on a computer screen.
There is a
limited use of graphics / images / illustrations. Classical Graeco-Roman
ideal of writing as an aid to rhetoric and oratory; complicated
publishing processes; higher cost
Extensive use of
graphics / images / illustrations. HTML – hypertext mark-up
language, origins in illustrative publishing; images incorporated
into site design – heavy focus on the visuals of a website; no
text-wise, well-established and/or authors over 30 are
more likely to have books published; more marketable and
often generate huge inroads in sales
main users are teenagers and 20-somethings. Unlikely to be taken
seriously by publishers, the internet provides access to
readership and low-cost publishing
authors under contract, whilst they are paid for their work, are
often tied to deadlines, subject to company pressure.
are the proverbial ‘labour of love’; webmasters post their
work as it’s written or in segments, at their own pace.
unfinished or abandoned by their authors usually never see the
light of day, no publishing company would finance the release of
an unfinished work unless the author was big enough to sell it
with their name (e.g. Jane Austen)
are usually known as much for their names as their work. Because
stories are posted in pieces, if they are left unfinished, what
was written can still be accessed. Some authors have
‘Permanently Unfinished’ sections on their sites.
situations and social standards of a time are adhered to,
doctoring texts and censorship is in wide practise.
speech is a treasured ideal on the internet; the blue ribbon
campaign is widely supported by webmasters
sacrosanct; to quote from another author’s work requires
explicit permission from the work’s author and/or its publisher.
Breeches can involve massive fines on both the author and
everywhere, nearly always credited. Copyright and legal issues,
whilst acknowledged, generally cause little concern, given it’s
so hard to enforce laws online. A disclaimer is usually the extent
to which most webmasters will go.
is Jenn's table for those who did not receive it
of pictures + sound- both elements are integral to the
presentation of text on the internet and are taken into
consideration to a greater extent.
focus on design/visuals- the content of a site is not the only
thing people take into consideration. It is important to have a
site that appears attractive and also takes into account things
like varying screen sizes, browsers and
connection speeds. While some people are purely looking for
the content, it is important that there is also some thought put
into the way that the information is presented. For example, in
addition to the inclusion of pictures/sounds, there is also
greater emphasis placed on items such as fonts,
paragraphing/spacing and size of text as well as ease of
printing costs- there are many ways to be hosted for free on the
internet, whether it be through a larger site or a more personal
freedom from industry- the publishing industry is very
democractised and often dependant on contacts, experience or
agent’s recommendations. It is extremely rare that a person is
able to be published with an unsolicited manuscript or without
prior pieces being appearing in magazines etc. The internet allows
writers to take control of their own writing and actually step
away from the industry itself.
opportunity for unknowns, younger authors- this is another benefit
of writing on the internet, stemming from the above point.
serialisation- writing on the internet tends to be updated parts
at a time, usually taking on the traditional ideas of chapters.
For this reason, it is important to ensure that suspense is
maintained so visitors will bookmark and return to the site. This
is compared to the purchasing of a novel where it is more likely
that a person will continue to read it until the end.
forms e.g. journals, bloggers- these gives writers a lot of
freedom on the web, allowing them a place to publish their work
with minimal HTML knowledge.
controversial issues and experimental styles- writing on the
internet is not limited to the various things that publishers feel
will be acceptable. Therefore, a lot of the fiction on the web is
slightly more unusual and something that may not be suitable for
element restricted to covers- graphics are definitely important in
a novel and in print. However, most graphics are limited to the
cover of the book and while this is crucial as a way of seeking an
audience, it is different compared to the union evident on the
of graphics- some books do include other pictures, with things
like family photos in biographies and other elements such as maps.
However these tend to be placed separately in the text itself. For
example, many clumps of pictures are located in the centre of the
text, printed on different quality paper. This is for profit
variation in font and size as well as stricter rules on the ways
in which to indicate a break
* there are
high costs involved and often authors will receive little money
for the books that they actually sell, with the profit returning
straight to the company
commercialised fiction industry- the industry is driven by a need
for profit and therefore, most of the items that are printed are
chosen due to wide appeal. For example, poetry is increasingly
hard to publish, as there is not the market desire for it.
authors who are published and wide read are older and have had a
lot of previous experience as well as contacts. This means that
the industry itself is very hard to break into and a good text in
itself does not guarantee any level of success.
auto-/biographies – tend not to be as personal as internet
writers. As well as this, there is not the contact available with
many published writers as there is with internet writers.
For week 1
The History of Haiga, Haiga Online http://members.aol.com/HAIGA/HAIGAOnline.index.html
11th century England
Ps.-Apuleius, Dioscorides, Herbals (extracts), etc., in Latin and
England, Bury St. Edmunds; 11th century, latehttp://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/medieval/mss/bodl/130.htm
Bolter’s Writing Space
Coover The End of Books (1992)
Birkerts, The Gutenberg Elegies:The Fate of Reading in an Electronic
Age, Faber and Faber Section
8 Into the Electronic Millenium