Afternoon, a story
Afternoon was first offered to the public as a demonstration of the hypertext authoring system Storyspace, announced in 1987 at the first Association for Computing Machinery Hypertext conference in a paper by Michael Joyce and Jay David Bolter. In 1990, it was published on diskette and distributed in the same form by Eastgate Systems. It was followed by a series of other Storyspace hypertext fictions, including Stuart Moulthrop's Victory Garden, Shelley Jackson's Patchwork Girl and Deena Larsen's Marble Springs.
Plot and structure
The hypertext fiction tells the story of Peter, a recently divorced man who witnessed a car crash that may or may not have involved his ex-wife and their son.
This is one of the most-discussed works of electronic literature, and many articles have been written about it. Espen J. Aarseth devotes a chapter of his book Cybertext to Afternoon, calling it a classic example of modernist literature. It is more often thought of as a work of Postmodern literature, as evidenced by its inclusion in the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction. Chapters of Jay David Bolter's Writing Space and J. Yellowlees Douglas's The End of Books or Books Without End also discuss Afternoon. Gunnar Liestøl's article "Wittgenstein, Genette, and the Reader's Narrative in Hypertext" in George Landow's Hyper/Text/Theory (1994) uses the theory of narratology to understand Afternoon, as does Jill Walker's "Piecing Together and Tearing Apart: Finding the Story in Afternoon" and Anna Gunders's dissertation work.
- Electronic literature
- Electronic Literature Organization
- Hypertext fiction
- Ergodic literature
- Eastgate Systems
- Aarseth, Espen (1997). Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins UP.
- Bolter, J. David (2001). Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print. Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Douglas, J. Yellowlees (1999). The End of Books or Books Without End?. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
- Landow, George (1997). Hyper/Text/Theory. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins UP.
- Walker, Jill (1999). ""Piecing Together and Pulling Apart: Finding the Story in afternoon"". Proceedings of the tenth ACM Conference on Hypertext and hypermedia : returning to our diverse roots. Darmstadt, Germany. pp. 111–117. doi:10.1145/294469.294496.