Sean T. Pangia, Brown University '97 (English 111, 1996)

Hypertext, as we know, consists of chunks of text connected in various ways to each other. Essentially, it provides a means of creating multilinear text, or linear blocks of text connected together in a non-linear fashion. This web explores the possibility of expanding the potential of hypertext by incorporating multilinear material into the lexia itself.

The Storyspace version of DisSimulation attempts to accomplish this idea through the possibilities presented by layered sound, and sound combined with with written text. Most of the sound in the Storyspace web allows various readings as it has been cut, pasted, and layered from various different sources. Some lexias contain animated text which hopefully further question the confines of textual space within the web. Due to the limitations of the World Wide Web, the sound and animated text do not appear in the html version. However, both versions share common structural characteristics, and the content presented herein remains otherwise unchanged.

Derrida expounds upon the fundamental nature of all texts in general. Central to the construction of DisSimulation are the Derridean critiques of textual boundaries such as framing, the exteriority/interiority binary, and scission which points out that the text "begins with its own division" (D300). This web serves as a close examination of the lexia with its own closed frame, and the spaces existing between textual elements such as units of sound, written text and the lexia itself which purports to contain them all.

Inevitably, the combination of sounds and text from disparate sources allows some questions of authorship to arise; questions such as those raised by Barthes in "What is an Author?" This web also questions the importance or even the possibility of recognizing sources. Is the "author" the creator of the sampled sounds and/or text? Can I as the writer claim the title "author" for splicing the materials into a complex format? Are you the "author" as it is your active reading from which meaning is created? Or is it a partnership between all parties, a collaboration? These are questions purposely left open as you explore the web.

WWW version



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