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Monday

Multiple meanings


Caitlin Fisher created hypermedia novella, These Waves of Girls.

With this work, she provided a unique experience for readers who were accustomed to authors reading from a paper book. As we read her work, we navigate her Web site with the audience viewing onscreen.

Navigation through These Waves of Girls takes on multiple meanings because Fisher's work is both an exploration of experimental narrative structures and the equally complex representation of girlhood. Her novella is constructed as a “digital constellation” in which readers choose their own path through interconnected story fragments. (Some readers might have childhood memories of “Choose-your-own-adventure” books.) The result is a narrative that is non-linear and has multiple perspectives and possibilities.

Each click of hypertext brings the reader to a new page of text that is layered with evocative imagery which is sometimes also subject to manipulation.

As she read from each piece, Fisher would play with the tools that would distort her images or produce sounds. She provided a sense of an electronic playground where both author and reader might meet. Fisher admitted that though her doctoral work in this area resisted traditional narratives, she made concessions to appeal to current desires for readability, to create “text of pleasure” as well as academic inquiry.