January 31, 2007
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Stretching the point

...and so Gracenote slipped out of the noisy party and all her parents' boring friends (especially Carl, the guy who kept looking at her but pretended not to) and walked out to be beach. She was tired of the 3 and tired of the beach house and the long, dreary days of sun. It was dark on the beach and cloudy but still much too hot. She took off her t-shirt and tried to remember winter.

The beach was 5 .

This is fiction, of course — just playing with stretchtext. Although stretchtext has been of particular interest in literary hypertext recently — Anne Mangen’s paper on fluid narratives comes to mind — I believe stretchtext poses special obstacles for narrative because it is so inexorably linear. Incoherence, like hypertext disorientation, is scary to contemplate but seldom frightening in the wild; it's hard to confuse people. And even if you do confuse them, they’ll tell you they understand, or that the problem is just a momentary lapse of attention. I think I do like Bray’s approach to annotative stretchtext for information on companies like Verizon home page, VZ, Yahoo, Google News, Technorati, del.icio.us, where stretchtext is a way to add multi-headed links to Web browsers.

A hypertextual challenge: begin each weblog post in mid-sentence. Write tomorrow’s post so to will lead into today’s — even though tomorrow’s post will be on a different subject. The posts should also read properly when read chronologically in the archives.