“…the primary source for serious hypertext” – Robert Coover, The New York Times Book Review

Notes on Storyspace

Professor M. Antoni J. Üçerler, S.J., D. Phil (Oxon.) is Professor of comparative philosophy and intellectual history at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.

I have been interested in the idea of intertextuality for quite a few years and hypertext provided -- literally -- the "missing link".

[Professor] Anne [Murase] and I use Storyspace to teach practically all our classes in Anthropology, Philosophy, and Intellectual History. We go to the classroom, hook our PCs into a console that projects onto two large TV screens and we lecture "through hypertext". I have used it in every class since the semester began.

What I greatly like about Storyspace is that I can go back to the same file, add new material for the next few lectures, and link them to previous themes and writing spaces. As the my "web" of information grows and becomes more complex, I can integrate new ideas and material with previously included materials. Moreover, as you allow free access to the Storyspace reader, I can leave my files and the reader on a folder I have on the local server, which the students can then access when they come to the campus or download for later use.

I am having her explore ... intertextuality with regard to conflicting primary sources and how to map them for the reader

To another Japanese student, who is doing an honors thesis with me this semester on a theme in sixteenth-century Japanese-European cultural history, I have proposed that she present to our faculty the very first electronic thesis (composed entirely in Storyspace). She has learned the program very quickly and is already in the process of producing very interesting work. I am having her explore precisely the concept of intertextuality with regard to conflicting primary sources and how to map them for the reader in hypertext --- which (as I am beginning to see) potentially changes the very way one presents an historiographical argument or hypothesis.

As for my idea of publishing my own critical edition in hypertext, there is no going back anymore to print alone...