Writing and Reading "Heat"
A technicality to address : -
The html for this website was done on Notepad (and moved to BBEdit) for 1024 x 768 pixel screen settings on Microsoft I.E. 5.0.
"Heat" is about one man's death in the midst of a heat wave. A small cast of characters are subsequently affected in interconnected ways. I wanted to use hypertext to bring across this intertextuality of voices - we can choose to follow a character's story or jump between different narrative voices by following the links.Even if the reader progresses on a linear fashion, plowing through each lexia at the bottom, he/she will realise there are distinct gaps that can only be filled by reading certain lexias from another character.
I believe navigation in this project is quite simple and straightforward. The top name icons represent the characters. Clicking on the names will present a list of lexias written in the character's narrative voice. The reader is free to switch between the different characters and to follow the links present in the text. Some links are external links that open up new browser windows (ie. Minyun's blog-like website). That was done for the reader's convenience (ie. the reader can choose to follow the external links or close the window) and for narrative reasons - in certain pages, images pop up on the screen in new browser windows. This link device would allow images to appear side by side.
It complements the message I'm trying to drive across in the lexias - my world in "Heat" is one of fragmentation and the dissolution and formulation of links - of self and of relationships. In Brendon's story, I try to bring across the idea of a person struggling to find a clear concept of identity but is never completely successful (particularly national identity). The globalization of Brendon's interests is seen through the juxtaposition of the linked pop-up windows. The lexias themselves are the fragments of his being that the reader has to link up and conclude.
One of the difficulties in writing the project is trying to marry self-containment and continuity in the lexias, providing enough hints for the most clueless disoriented reader in my relatively shapeless shifting world. Another difficulty would be writing separate distinctive narratives for the different characters. Considerations have to be made on what to link and why. Constantly I'm aware that my words carry multiple meanings. I do not seek to impose on the reader - it's up to you to decide what's happening.
My hypertext fiction is one of many voices. I took lyrics from certain songs and poetry and rendered them onto images. It becomes an collaborative effort that Dr Landow writes about in Hypertext 2.0. "Hypertext thus creates an open, open-bordered text, a text that cannot shut out other texts and therefore embodies the Derridean text, which blurs 'all those boundaries that form the running border of what used to be called a text, of what we once thought this word could identify; ie. the supposed end and beginning of a work, the unity of the corpus, the title, the margins, the signatures, the referential realm outside the frame, and so forth.'" (Landow, 80). In "Heat" my intention is to use the borderless text to bend, even destroy the borders of reality and fiction.
Feel free to use your back button!