Jaishree K. Odin – Hypertext and the Female Imaginary

Jaishree K. Odin

Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2010, Language: English, ISBN-13: 978-0816666690
Hypertext represents a cornerstone in experimental literature. From the first experiments until the late adopters, it has evolved from a technique to a literary strategy.   Hypertext appears to have been the cultural base for the current fragmented, multi-device and multitasking way of dealing with information. This multi-dimensional discontinuity is the terrain allowinr writers to construct sense in peculiar ways, something which stems from the different trajectories (paths) . The space described when moving from one link (and its meaning) to another is a dynamic and fluid narrative space with peculiar time characteristics (the ability to be “in-between”, for example). The author analyzes it as embodied in the specific cinematic montage of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s eighties films, in the early middle-nineties hypertexts of Judy Malloy (describing the difficulties of getting rid of the constricted female imaginary in classic literature) and in Shelley Jackson (through imaginary encounters with dozens of forgotten female storytellers). And the same hypertextual space is also described in terms of works by M. D. Coverly (early 2000s), using multiple media properties to access different narrative elements, or in the works by Stephanie Strickland in which multiple discourses expand from her printed works to her electronic ones. Odin analyzes all of them from a feminist perspective but enriches the whole with multiple references to hypertext theory grounded on the seminal work of Katherine Hayles, investigating female subjectivity in a unique way.