The Unknown: The Purple Line.
  Scott and William introduce the readers of the hypertext to
Donald Barthelme:

William: Um, Donald Barthelme wrote a lot of very short stories, generally about three pages in length. He was like the band the Minutemen that way. These stories embrace an astonishing multitude of styles and attitudes, some quite recognizable caricatures, some genuinely baffling and surreal. They are funny. I like them a lot. I admire his ability to appear extremely smart on every topic. I especially like the posthumous anthology The Teachings of Don B. How about you, Rettberg?

Scott: I often think of Don, though I never knew him. His tenacity and willful absorption and at the same time rejection of the time in which he lived. Damned artful, witty stories. Laughter etched with pain. I don’t know, but anyway, I thought of his short story “The Balloon,” more than once that first night when we were working on the hypertext. You remember that story. Here’s the second paragraph:
But it is wrong to speak of “situations,” implying sets of circumstances leading to some resolution, some escape of tension; there were no situations, simply the balloon hanging there—muted heavy grays and browns for the most part, contrasting with the walnut and soft yellows. A deliberate lack of finish, enhanced by skillful installation, gave the surface a rough, forgotten quality; sliding weights on the inside, carefully adjusted, anchored the great, vari-shaped mass at a number of points. Now we have had a flood of original ideas in all media, works of singular beauty as well as significant milestones in the history of inflation, but at that moment, there was only this balloon, concrete particular, hanging there.
See what I mean? I mean, there you go. That’s Art. Ahead of his time, he was.

sickening decadent hypertext novel META fiction al bull shit sort of a doc ument ary corr e spond ence art is cool look at art live read ings