A Poetics of the Link
Introduction by Joseph Tabbi
Following the first flurry of responses to Nick Montfort's review of Espen Aarseth, in the Fall of 2001 Jeff Parker (fresh out of an NEH Summer seminar on electronic textuality at UCLA) wrote in defense of the hypertext link, an essay distinguished by its anatomy of link types and its interactivity: readers are invited to submit their own link types and view other reader submissions. Parker's essay in turn encouraged further entries from Scott Rettberg and Matt Kirschenbaum, which moved the cyberdebates away from the specialized questions (whether critics should speak of hypertexts or cybertexts, and whether games or texts should be the object of critical attention) toward more general issues concerning the creation, preservation, and archiving of electronic literature.
Because its form is integral to the html-based form of the earlier version of the electronic book review, we present Parker's essay as a free-standing project, available here.