VoxPops from Unsymposium 0.3

Anna C notes some of the important things about hypertext. These are useful ideas and pointers. I’d recommend taking these as ideas that matter to things online, not just hypertext (which is one of the reasons why we are using hypertext as a way to approach ‘networks’). Your blog not just as a sort of hypertext, but as a networked practice and object – just begin, structure emerges over time through doing, and it proposes a world. On the other hand Anna C questions about my proposition about ‘insights into an author’s mind’ and provides Stephen Fry by way of example. Couple of points, when someone explicitly says ‘this is what I think’ this is not the same as reading their fiction or essay and from these tea leaves discern what we believe they think, or believe. Similarly with Stephen Fry, who is gay, but it is awfully difficult to discern from his acting career, or his published work, his sexuality, let alone prove it. So how do we know he is gay? Because he has told us. So yes, we can convey a sense of our self through our writing is we choose to, but that is a qualitatively different proposition to saying that when we write we inevitably always convey an authentic sense of our self to others.

Patrick riffs around authorial control. I think a useful way to soften this is to think about authorial intention, and then wonder how much of this is managed or not. I’d also point out that if I can ensure my message might make sense because I rely upon and use ‘codes and conventions’ then the definition of a code is that I am subject to it, not the other way round, so that is hardly the author being in charge of anything, is it? Sophie has a very good gloss of what was a very intense theoretical discussion, and uses my example of telling a story about Elliot and I as a way to think about the differences that linearity and multilinearity might provide. The issue with multilinearity is not that you can’t tell stories, but we need to learn how to tell them differently.