Jessica Pressman gives a mixed, but essentially positive review to the Cybertext 2000 Handbook. Pressman finds many of the essays of great interest, and if she thinks that some of the arguments might have been expanded or extended, that only shows that her appetite has been throughly prepared for next year's volume.
Pressman does complain of what she calls "the disdainful tone for hypertext that seeps into the editorial spaces," wishing that the editors would maintain "respect for the scholars whose work preceded and prompted [their] own". Editors Eskillinen and Koskimaa take this critique to heart in a furious rejoinder:
In this context it is almost arrogant of Jessica Pressman to imply that we (or the contributors coming from eight different countries and equally heterogeneous intellectual and scholarly traditions) should submit to the same code of ancestral worship that may or may not be in one's best interests while specializing in electronic literature and hypertext narratives at certain US Universities.
I hate bad reviews, too. But this wasn't a bad review, Pressman rather liked the work, and if anyone questioned the accuracy Pressman's perception of disdain, the rejoinder removes the doubt.
The important thing, in my opinion, is to focus on ideas that matter without worrying about personalities and "ancestral worship". Scholarship -- helping readers understand sources and trace the genesis of ideas -- isn't worship. Nor is civility. Academic discussion has acquired an encrustation of formal courtesy not merely because scholars are pompous, but because formality helps keep personalities from contaminating our theories.