Landscape Garden Hypertexts


Screenshots


Rationale

In composing my hyperlinked version of The Landscape Garden, I used the open source software Twine. This software interested me because it allows for a very clear visualization of the linking structure you're creating. Thinking about linking structure with a physical copy has this perk as well, but I felt that making changes would be more difficult with a physical approach.

I considered the types of linking structures that Bernstein writes about, and realized that some patterns were out of the question for hyperlinking this story after assembling my nodes in Twine. I quickly decided on assembling The Landscape Garden in the form of a Sieve linking structure which "sorts readers through one or more layers of choice in order to direct them to sections or episodes." In a lot of ways this pattern is very similar, but not identical, to the concept of hierarchical organization we have previously discussed. My thought was that I would do my best to organize the thoughts of the story, with each branch building on the general ideas that contribute to its meaning. I began my version of The Landscape Garden with the very last paragraph, which more or less summarizes practically all aspects of the story: Ellison's wealth, philosophy of happiness, his aesthetic, and plans to build a garden. As a node, paragraph 13 is perfect for an organizational scheme because of its generality.

The restriction of the assignment stipulating that each node may only contain two links immediately created two "categories" or paths from paragraph 13: Ellison's Wealth, and Ellison's Plans (Gigantic wealth, his plans, respectively).

The "Gigantic wealth" path has two subordinate ideas. The first is Ellison's monetary wealth, and the second is every gift of fortune that is not monetary wealth; the second path then branches into the philosophical basis for Ellison's apparent eternal happiness. It should be mentioned that this branch in no way leads directly to the other broad category of Ellison's Plans.

The "his plans" path began with paragraph 6, which is the first node which explicitly states Ellison's intention to create a landscape garden. Node 6 leads to two other nodes: one which leads to the distinction between natural and artificial landscape gardening, the other to Ellison's poetic personality. The distinction chain then branches to two other nodes: Ellison's response to" the natural" and his response to "the artificial" - both of these nodes then lead to the node chain 7-8-9 which are the earlier passages detailing Ellison's aesthetic philosophy concerning the improvement of nature.

My intention was that each hyperlinked text was supposed to lead to a node which elaborates on the idea expressed in the text. In this way, I took more of a technical approach to the assembly of the hypertext. Elaboration and clarity was my intention with the "elements of Content" link, which links the reader to Ellison's four principles of happiness. However, in the case of paragraph 10, with the writer who distinguishes between "the natural" and "the artificial," the hyperlinked text links to Ellison's response to the writers opinions on both of these approaches to landscape gardening. In this way, the text fails in elaboration, and instead begins to meander down the messy path of Ellison's aesthetic philosophy.

Because Twine allows the user to go back, I felt it was unnecessary to tie up linking paths that were dead ends. But I still made the attempt to tie up dead ends with second version. The hyperlinks of the second version were composed with the idea of linking back to node 13 as a sort of home page, or linking to another node which has a path to node 13. I intended node 13 to become a sort of refrain, building meaning as the reader progresses through the hypertext (Cycle pattern). Above are the screenshots of both patterns.
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