The Unknown: The Green Line.


Fear and Loathing at Brown University
By the Unknown

We’re the Unknown.

Coover liked our hypertext novel. He chose us as cowinner of the trAce/AltX Hypertext award, flew us to Brown and poured us a round of beers at the Brown Graduate Bar. When he introduced our reading, he referred to our hypertext novel as a throwback to “the golden age” of hypertext. What he meant was that our hypertext had no Shockwave animation, no synthetic music, no CGI scripting, no applets, and very few images. Ours was a “text-based” hypertext. We like to think that what Coover meant by “the golden age of hypertext” was, in fact, books. He’s nurtured the hypertext movement for a decade while continuing to write print novels.

If they ever get short on hypertext teachers at Brown, our bags are packed and we’re ready to hop on a plane.

The conference, held April 7-9, 1999, was called “Technology Platforms for 21st Century Literature.” It was hosted by the Brown Scholarly Technology Group and a host of corporate sponsors including US-Web, Softbank, Ziff-Davis and the Internet Capital Group, and organized by author Robert Coover and Internet visionary Jeff Ballowe.

What is the future of literature in the electronic age? What is “text” anymore? These were some of the questions brought up at the conference, where about fifty technology specialists, professors, hypertext writers, and journalists gathered for three days of presentations and discussions.

We gave two readings at Brown, a short one at the formal showcase the first night, and an informal one the following evening (with beer).

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David Foster Wallace sort of congratulates the Unknown confusedly on William’s answering machine
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We plan our second hypertext novel while sitting in an auditorium at Brown
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We realize that all these people are smarter than us
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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