Wednesday, September 17, 2003
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Discussion

I'm convinced that studying the art of hypertext isn't merely a game -- that we can progress, learn, and understand by carefully examining good work. The examination, of course, has to be careful and well-judged. In the current Tekka, Diane Greco considers Kate Hayles' recent monograph, Writing Machines, and finds a good deal with which to disagree.

It goes without saying that Hayles' equation of a "literary tradition" with best-selling novels is absurd, not least because she blithely confuses merit with sales.... Hayles' concern with celebrity comes up again and again in the course of the book, and it does more than a little methodological mischief.

There's some real value in Writing Machines (although the faux autobiography is strangely coy, and I do wish Hayles had resisted the temptation to rename hypertext something else). And there's real value in Greco's critique.

Understanding is hard. We need to get on with the work. Serious discussion helps.

More nice writing: Greco's weblog, Sept. 16: Life is not a pie.