e-Lit Resource
Hamlet on the Holodeck

In this essay, excerpted from her book Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace (1997), Janet Murray outlines why authors writing for emerging electronic media will usher in new modes of narration.

This essay originally appeared in the Electronic Book Review - in its original, periodical form - in part two of a double issue dedicated to exploring "image + narrative." The double issue was edited by Steve Tomasula, Anne Burdick, and Joseph Tabbi.

In the introduction for part one of the series, published in winter 97/98, the editors explain:

In this double issue we hope to explore through literature a transition already evident in the culture at large, where technology has enabled narratives of all types to undergo transformation by the image. Increasingly, our ways of telling stories, of creating meaning, are weighted away from a sole reliance on words. It's not just that literary works and criticism have started to incorporate imagery as decoration or visual accompaniment. Writing itself is being changed by the image, and what counts as "literary" is being broadened (with more far-ranging consequences than the celebrated collapse of "high" into "low" art). The contributors who follow offer experiments in visual criticism, and so begin a process of thinking through spatial form as rhetoric, where image is integral to literature's poetics, and integral, too, to the experience of "reading."

Other ebr essays by Janet Murray include:
From Game-Story to Cyberdrama http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/firstperson/autodramatic

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