The Unknown: The Purple Line.
  I don’t mean to be complaining here, but I’ve noticed a few things about my co-authors and their writing on the hypertext:

1) William likes to write scenes in which we are all together, doing fun community-type things. He once proposed that we replace all the drug references in the novel with references to organic food items, stop writing altogether, and just get a van filled with grass seeds and go around the country planting it with kids in places that need it.

2) Dirk likes to write in the “I” voice, and he doesn’t want his vision interpolated or muddied, or redefined by the foul intentions of “sidekicks.” He enjoys collaboration, but he is nostalgic for the idea of the “author” which the French killed off thirty years or so ago. He misses linearity, and fears an abundance of linked text (if they are not footnote style links, which he loves).

3) Frank feels alienated, and he wants to write about feeling alienated. His scenes are generally hilarious, even though they usually end up with him alone somewhere, pissed off that we’ve abandoned him. Then he usually ends up with some attractive woman who spends the night with him.

4) Which leaves me with much of the “hard work”—like chronicling the negative effects of our excessive lifestyle in “honest, gritty” terms, giving the characters some depth, giving the story some emotional textures and social relevance, and yes, even writing of the death and/or injuries of my close personal friends. Which nobody else would touch with a ten-foot pole, because of all the bad karma involved.

Audio Button
So Much Pain
Read 4/8/99
at Brown University
194K RealAudio Clip

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