Brooke, Collin. “Making Room, Writing Hypertext.” JAC 19.2 (1999): 253-268.

Executive Summary:

In this piece, Brooke works to reclaim arrangement from hypertext theorists that have elided the term in due to the “non-linearity” of hypertextual production.  In this reclamation, Brooke employs both a time-element and a space-element to better understand the way hypertext can be arranged.   The time-element is a hold-over from written discourse.  The space-element is embodied in spoken discourse.  Brooke indicts Bolter’s and Joyce’s collapse of arrangement into delivery by illustrating the disorientation problem – i.e., readers have expectations of texts, in hypertextual composition those needs aren’t met.  This inadequacy is the result, according to Bolter and Joyce, of a user-defined delivery (one of the core realities of hypertext).  To address this problem, Brooke describes how usual conceptions of text rely on Bowden’s “containerism.”  This problem, one which Derrida isolates as “the repression of pluri-demensional symbolic thought” can best be revisioned through Lefebvre’s explication of space as 1) conceived, 2) perceived, and 3) lived.  In this model, perceived space, or spatial practice, is employed to negotiate the “containers that print has encouraged and the paralyzing freedom of an infinitely open space” (263).  This is a sort of middling, whereby the reader isn’t left to be inside the container, but can make meaning because the endless free play of signifiers is also not endless.  To understand this new perceived social practice, Brooke recommends the adoption of the “pattern.”  In so doing, the wreader is able to shift their focus from linear progression and pacing to pattern perception across structural components.

Key Influences:

Lefebvre – The Production of Space

Johnson-Eilola – Nostalgic Angels:  Rearticulating Hypertext Writing

Quintilian – The Insitutio Oratoria of Quintilian

Tolva – Ut Pictura Hyperpoesis:  Spatial Form, Visuality, and the Digital Word

Writing Against:

Bolter – Writing Space

Joyce – Of Two Minds:  Hypertext Pedagogy and Poetics

Major Concepts/Questions

1.  How do we conceive of arrangement in hypertextual creations?

2.  The flipping of organization and formulae on the bottom of 261 seems weak to me.  Brooke notes, “Formulae do not help students learn how to organize; rather, they serve as a substitutes for the very act of organization.”  Isn’t this invention work?  Are we talking of reinventing the container on every project?  Revisit.

One Response to “CCR601 – Making Room, Writing Space”

  1. CCR601 – Lingua Fracta, Chapter 4- epiphonema

    […] this chapter, Brooke goes over a lot of the same territory he covered in Making Room, Writing Hypertext. Here he recaps such issues as containerism, spatial practice (Lefebvre’s perceived space), […]

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