straight up

Artists have grappled with the implications of this technology since its inception; the narrative experiments of literary authors reflects this current in modern art. Ted NelsonŐs concept of hypertext represented a profound effort to put this technology toward the service of personal, idiosyncratic expression. Nelson became an evangelist for hypertext, publishing articles, speaking at conferences, spreading the gospel wherever he could. One of those places was Brown University, which during the 1980s became a hotbed of literary explorations of the form. At Brown, the literary critic George Landow and his colleagues developed hypertext tools, such as Intermedia, which allowed authors with little experience in programming to invent new genres of creative writing. In his own work, Landow applied a trained critical eye to the formal aspects of hypertext, making connections to the post-structural textual analysis of critics like Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. Just as academic theoretical discourse was questioning the centrality of the author in the production of texts, hypermedia suggested that, in a future of networked digital media, responsibility would shift from author to reader, actively encouraging the readerŐs collaboration in shaping a narrative.