The Fall of the Site of Marsha by Rob Wittig is an interactive electronic literature experience presented in the form of a late-nineties web site. The piece follows Marsha, an eccentric woman who creates a website centered around her obsession with angels. Things begin to get strange, dark, and a little creepy when the Angels Marsha loves so much make an appearance on her web site. Three different versions of Marsha's site are available for view: Spring '98, Summer '98, and Fall '98. Each version of the site is very different. The sites get progressively darker as the angels take control. At first, the site is just a goofy site about a woman's angel obsession, but it eventually becomes unrecognizable. The site begins to fill with eerie messages from the angels. Each web site is equipped with a variety of links and pages that contribute to the overall story. The user views the story organically through message boards and secret areas of the site. There is much to be discovered, from Marsha's husband's infidelity to sinister implications regarding her father's death. For full effect, each version of the site should be fully explored.
The Fall of the Site of Marsha is presented as if an eccentric, quirky woman with an unhealthy obsession with angels wrote it. It is a very believable representation of late-nineties web design. Its functionality adds to the story. Since it operates as a website, it is able to be explored in a unique way. It can feel very real and very creepy at times. The language is very casual and varies in different places on the web site. The message board reads like a real life message board, poor grammar and all. Different characters have different styles of writing. The site isn't just the way the story is presented, it is the story itself.
The Fall of the Site of Marsha is written as a fully functioning website that is to be explored by the reader. There isn't much context given. The reader is given the sites to explore on their own. Most of the links to the different parts of the site function fine. However, some other links are dead, but they do not affect the integrity story. The Fall of the Site of Marsha is presented as a very convincing web site. There is no indication anywhere on the site that it is just a story. It is sold through the functionality of the site. The goofy pictures and bad fonts help make the site more believable.
This is an interesting work because it feels so much like an actual web site. The Fall of the Site of Marsha is significant because it isn't just a piece of art, it is a complete web site. Nothing ever proclaims on Marsha's that this is just a piece of literature. It feels and functions as a we site. Author Rob Wittig is able to tell a story in an unconventional way, by creating a site that feels real enough to believe. The different stages of the site help to add an overall eerie vibe to the work. The sites are fun and interesting to explore. The sense of despair is felt through the dramatically changing web site. Wittig is able to tell an interesting story without writing in the traditional way.