Annotated Bibliography #6

B-b-b-bonus entry! Two of five in one day? Niiiiice.

Bell, Alice, and Astrid Ensslin. “‘I Know What It Was. You Know What It Was’: Second-Person Narration in Hypertext Fiction.” Narrative, vol. 19, no. 3, 2011, pp. 311–329. JSTOR,

This article explores digital fiction, or more to the point, hypertext fiction. In particular it explores the necessity of the digital aspect of the medium and how that digital-ity is expressed. In particular, the article explores two hypertexts using the guidelines that were established by the Digital Fiction International Network (DFIN) as a way of exemplifying the toolkit of this organization. In particular there is an emphasis on second person narration in creating a relationship between the reader/player and the narrative.

The first major section of the article is titled “The ‘you” in digital, interactive texts.” This section establishes the role play link involved in 2nd person narration. It also introduced me to a number of texts to explore further, particularly Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Media. One aspect of this section I found enlightening follows; “second person narration in some hypertext fictions draws upon the convention of gaming and IF in so far as they ask for reader input, but the also limit the involvement of the reader by preventing her from identifying with ‘you’ completely” (p. 313). This is the primary thrust of the next section, “The ‘you’ in contemporary narratology,” which explores the power and usage of second person POV. The section also includes a rather interesting chart that explores the various types of “you” that pop up in second person.

From there, the article goes into specific analysis of the texts Victory Garden by Stuart Moulthrop and Figurski at Findhorn on Acid by Richard Holeton. I will most definitely explore these texts in addition to the analysis provided in the paper. They seem like great, practical examples of second person narration in IF. I am still unsure if I wish to pursue second person narration in my own IF project.

I am not familiar with the above texts, but I expect I will become familiar with them shortly. Another annotated bibliography for the quote pile, it seems. Bonus: Narratology is back in my lexicon again.


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