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Explanations

My decision to hypertextualized Red Sorghum using Storyspace arises from a 

sudden inspiration followed by some contemplation into its feasibility. It 

happens to be one of the course reading materials for CCLA01. Red Sorghum is

a novel written by Mo Yan, which reflects the situation back in the time 

that best described the conditions of his hometown. In fact, it is not a 

single continuous novel, which he had intended; but instead he wrote five 

separate parts that were complied into this single novel. Hence, Mo Yan 

admitted to the difficulties he encountered in the merging of these parts into

a contiguous story, employing to a great extend complex and extensive temporal

manipulation of scenes jumping from one to another.



From the very outset, when my classmates and I were discussing on this novel,

there were unanimous agreements to the difficulty in reading the novel at the 

start, not least when we attempt to refer back to earlier scenes in the story. 

Furthermore, we were advised by our course mentor, Dr Philip Holden to carry 

out continuous readings because if we were to put it down and leave it aside

for some time, it will be hard to make head or tail of the novel again.   



At the same time, when I was reading one of the assignments for CCST02, the course

conducted by Professor George P. Landow, a hypertext fiction Afternoon by Michael

Joyce and it suddenly struck me with its resemblances to Red Sorghum or vice versa.

Both stories unfurl and continue with constant switches in narrators, subjects and 

in chronological order: both require an associative kind of reading. Henceforth, it

sets me thinking of a possibility to frame Red Sorghum using simple storyspace

applications. The selections of important portions of the story to be placed in

various lexias and their eventual linking up that will certainly assist reading 

and comprehending. A more interactive reading I believe. But as I am doing a 

collaborative project with Kevin Lam who is writing on science oriented fiction--the 

exact opposite to mine which is based on Chinese history, I came up with this web 

version of the project converted from storyspace. Nonetheless, both of us agree that

such a collaboration would be interesting.  



It was getting optimistic and I received a further boast when I received a 

complied list by Dr Holden the events that took place in the story and their 

relations to actual historical phenomena. It looks like things were on my side

and that my only big tasks ahead is to go back to the novel and rewrite these

events in summarized lexical versions; and I presumed the project will come up to

about forty to fifty lexias. Things were getting too coincidental as I realized that 

I have made use of If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino for my

final essay in CCLA01 and now I have MoYan's Red Sorghum for my final project

in CCST02.



I have decided to put them in themes,six major themes. I believe this is one

good way to have the story in hypertext form since readers will ned to 

navigate through most lexias to get the whole story and not from just one or

a few lexias. pardon for some long and wody lexias. This is present because 

I have decided to retained some of the original Mo Yan's writing especially in

scenes where descriptions are very important to the kind of experience they 

give the readers. ndeed, I feel that theses are important and necessary 

elements in Mo Yan's novel. 



Nonetheless, I hope you will enjoy this project(web version) of mine.   

 

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