I just can’t seem to get into hypertext. I’m still deep into paperbacks.
One point I took from The End of Books was this:
The Reader Comes of Age
The reader does not merely passively accept or receive a given literary work but through the act of reading participates along with the author in the creation of the actional world evoked by the heretofore lifeless text. . . .
At first glance, interactive action acts out this process literally. It seems to emancipate the reader from domination by the text putting her in at least partial control of the sequence of events. . . .
. . . interactive action looks as though it acts out one particular model of reader response. Iser has suggested that the text of a novel lays down certain limits, but within those limits are gaps which a reader feels impelled to all. An inter- active fiction seems to make this arrangement explicit.
—Anthony Niesz and Norman Holland, “Interactive Fiction” (1984)
I can understand and accept all that, but what deters me most from interactive fiction is the reading off a screen; I kinda like turning pages, folding pages for book marks and closing a book, putting it away for a day and then finding it again. It seems that with interactive fiction, this traditional ritual has been forgotten. The classics are paperbacks and they’ll remain best as paperbacks. When I read a book, I’m never distracted by YouTube and anything online because I am immersed in it. But with this narratology thing, I can see myself reading a few pages and then jumping on to a new webpage. It’d make the process so much slower and it’d kill the experience. I just wouldn’t be able to appreciate the work as much because I’d be partially involved in the experience…