Endings Aren’t Really Real

Georgia has an elegant post about things that don’t end. Or where endings become something else, less formal, known, predicted, and well, just plain organised. Like life. (Yep, one of the defences of something like hypertext and other messy forms is that it is more ‘realistic’ than realism in fiction because, well, the real world is not just so cause and effect as a novel pretends it to be.) Tony is not convinced about hypertext and fiction but does make the very accurate observation that wikipedia is a never ending hypertextual non fiction work. Absobloodylutely. It has no beginning (unlike a traditional encyclopaedia), no end, no last page, and as hypertext theorists tells, it really isn’t that hard to use or get our heads around. So, imagine a wiki novel…. (now there’s a project worth thinking about in the future with some students). Sian likes the idea but feels it might be like too much work (reading a multilinear work). As said in the unsymposium, think of them as musical, so you return to them, and let them find you over time (like that song you listened to once, didn’t like much, by the 5th listening you realise it’s actually pretty good, notice already the difference to the novel or the Goosebump series – the 5th time, because if these works are musical we need to read them more than once to let them show us their rhythms). They are also very well suited to some sorts of stories, not others, much like the novel (which sucks if you want to write something that wants to perform change rather than just describe it).