August 8, 2003

Dissertation Unknown

by Andrew Stern · , 7:34 am

Scott Rettberg, e-lit practitioner and theorist and co-founder of the ELO, now has his PhD dissertation online, “Destination Unknown: Experiments in The Network Novel.” It’s on my reading list; I’ve only had a chance to skim through it so far. It begins with a nice introduction to electronic literature and its history over the last two decades. The chapters delve into the nature of links and networks in the context of literature, e-books, and the pleasures, challenges and frustrations of reading and writing hypertext fiction. He does an interesting analysis of how people read The Unknown, a hypertext novel he co-wrote, based on the log files that record when and how often each page in the hypertext was accessed. He concludes with a chapter about possible future directions for e-lit, including a discussion of Facade.