Notes on HeavyLinking


Heavy linking as an essay

Re-think how we read and how the words work in a hypertext: That is, use link text to create a pattern, a poem, a sense of what's significant. And the branching nature of hypertext to control the sequence of the patterning, create alternative paths, options. Think of this as an annotated tour or essay (old sense of essay: to walk around)

Look at the link text in http://www.mshogue.com/ce9/hypertext/htx_essay.htm

From this list of link text you can infer the context, the situation: a nature walk.

Now focus on a single possible path of that walk, getting in closer -
All trees, but the movement starts in a north woods forest and moves to India. This list basically creates exigence to create a narrative in which the links operate.

Here's an alternative path, defined by a second walker who is not that interested in trees. until she comes to an eagle's nest.
She looks into the nest -
Now we're in in Alaska.

Again, the list creates a need for a narrative.

Notes
The challenge is finding the appropriate material to link to - or, when you can't or would rather not - writing it yourself. You can use our wiki for these paths, sending the reader back to the mainstream. Or you can use anchors in the page to move readers to a a variety of places within the page.

This way of reading works better if the terms are more specific, more loaded.

Heavy linking the annotated source

an annotated soliloquy

Consider what phrases you would annotate and what you would link them to. If this is done woodenly, as an exercise in linking, it doesn't achieve much. But if done with shrewd choice and commentary, it can work beautifully.

Consider how we might work with a Hamlet soliloquy (Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2). In this first re-lining, I'm highlighting structure and isolating key words.

HAMET
I have of late--but wherefore I know not--
lost all my mirth,
forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it
goes so heavily with my disposition that

this goodly frame, the earth,
seems to me
a sterile promontory,
this most excellent canopy, the air, look you,
this brave o'erhanging firmament,
this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why,
it appears no other thing to me than
a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.

What a piece of work is a man!
how noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty!
in form and moving how express and admirable!
in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world!
the paragon of animals!
And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust?
man delights not me: no, nor woman neither.

Take just one phrase -
this brave o'erhanging firmament,

The firmament = sky, but the firmament is more than the sky in Elizabethan conception. The word points to images and texts concerning

the firmament is fundamental - the first thing created in Genesis, and it separates the waters above from the waters below: heaven from earth, rain from sea.

it is a physical place, and here is a diagram illustrating where it sits in relation to other elements: waters above, occasionally pouring in through the floodgates. A set of contemporary (now dead) metaphpors.

a cosmology, to color in if you're interested. The firmament separates the planets, stars, moon, and Earth from God and the angles.

Now read it again

this goodly frame, the earth,
seems to me
a sterile promontory,
this most excellent canopy, the air, look you,
this brave o'erhanging firmament,
this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why,
it appears no other thing to me than
a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.

In 20th century terms, that's existential angst.
Premises of existentialism: You are free, there ain't no god to give life meaning, and existence precedes essence.

Striking also is what uses the soliloquy can be put to. Some classic repurposing:

Notes
Taken as a game, this technique can lead to triviality
This is not simply a matter of parsing a source and adding links. The links need to be annotated, explained, in such a way that the link and target elaborate on the source. That's your job as the writer. You need to provide both the hypertext link and the significance of the connection.

What seems to evolve from this technique of annotating a source is a source embedded in an essay, or an essay lacing up a source. Not your typical scholarly article but something hybrid.

While I have studied this soliloquy in the past, it wasn't until I went looking for links using the keywords in the lines that I came up with these specific connections - and came on some new connections for me. But the bigger value is the collecting of this array of links and commentary.

There are no comments on this page.
Valid XHTML :: Valid CSS: :: Powered by WikkaWiki