Peter Schmideg

After taking a computer course at Harvard in 1960 Ted Nelson began a mystical journey. He started exploring the possibility of liberating text from paper, of developing a means whereby writers could harness text in a manner closer to human cognitive patterns: i.e., the way words flowed through our minds. In 1965 Nelson coined the term hypertext. Ultimately, in his brilliant 1974 book, "Computer Lib/Dream Machines," he laid down the foundation for a communications theory transcending text. Hypertext became hypermedia. Imagery and sound played roles equal to text. Nelson realized that personal computers with multimedia capabilities must burst the boundaries of artistically rendering internal reflection.

James Joyce and Marcel Proust, perhaps the two greatest writers of the twentieth century, struggled to make language transcend itself. Joyce's "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake" carry multimedia undertones. Joyce was fascinated by cinema. In 1909 he tried setting up the first chain of movie theaters in Ireland; alas, not being much of a businessman, his venture failed. The nighttown sequence in "Ulysses" is an attempt to fuse literature with cinema. Readers are walked through a surreal, tactilely visual mindspace. "Finnegans Wake" violently soups up printed text. In the reader's mind words explode into images and sounds. Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past" serves as a virtual reconstruction. To write it Proust cloistered himself in a cork-lined room, allowed memories to overtake him. His sentences positively ripple, veer toward a truth at the edge of text, beyond language, as past events three-dimensionally enmesh themselves within the thread of his thoughts. Today "Remembrance of Things Past" would take the form of an ultimate home page, incorporating text, graphics, scanned photographs and paintings, audio, video, etc.

Metaphysically speaking Ted Nelson's Project Xanadu is Proust wired, electronically/digitally expanding stream of consciousness. Borrowing its name from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's unfinished poem, "Kubla Khan," which endeavored to capture an artist's dreamspace -

In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man...
Project Xanadu represents virtual liquid consciousness.

Electronically storing people's books, records, and communications was first proposed by Vannevar Bush at MIT in the early 1930s. "As We May Think," a 1945 essay Bush wrote for Atlantic Monthly, made the idea more generally known. Bush's concept, Memux, was a sophisticated combination of microfilm and microphotography. It would be years before computer technology caught up with Bush, years before microfilm ceased to be the primary non-paper medium for storing text and images.

In 1969 the Pentagon introduced the ARPANET (after ARPA: Advanced Research Projects Agency), which through the 70s and 80s gradually evolved into the Internet...and then in the 90s we had the World Wide Web.

Project Xanadu is Ted Nelson's holy mission. It all began in 1960 with that computer course at Harvard. Vannevar Bush and the Internet came to function as practical triggers. However, over the years, as he discovered the work of some remarkable computer programmers and computer artists, Nelson broadened his vision. Among the folk who inspired him were Ivan Sutherland, pioneer in 3D computer modeling and visual simulations, the basis for computer graphics, computer aided design (CAD), and interactive pilot training simulators widely used by the military and aviation industry; Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse, pioneer in using computer screens as complex organizational tools; Alan Kay, conceiver of laptop computers, inventor of Smalltalk (which led to object oriented programming languages), and developer of the windowing graphical user interface...or shifted paradigm; John Whitney, computer film pioneer, who aesthetically melded experimental music and experimental cinema; Ken Knowlton, pioneer in computer graphics; and Laurie Spiegel, computer music pioneer and programmer, whose Music Mouse revolutionized interactive music software.

Ted Nelson's writing reminds me of the alternative history science fiction of Philip K. Dick, whose novel, "The Man in the High Castle," described a United States which lost WWII to Germany and Japan. Ted Nelson maps an alternative history for personal computing. Unlike "The Man in the High Castle," though, Nelson offers a romantic vision; more along the lines of what if Hitler had never risen to power in Germany? Am I being a little extreme here? Well, yes, a tad: comparing Microsoft to Nazism. Yet things could have been different, so very different...if more people had not only read Ted Nelson, but acted upon what the man was saying.

Ted Nelson's "Computer Lib/Dream Machines" had two front covers, no back cover. One front cover was for "Computer Lib," which dealt with computer politics and tech. Flip the book over, start reading from the other cover and you have "Dream Machines," dealing with the visionary use of computers. Stylistically "Computer Lib/Dream Machines" was modeled on Stewart Brand's "Whole Earth Catalog," interspersed with hip illustrations, weaving odd stories and quotations into the text. The book was not meant to be read in a linear fashion. For 1974 it was completely revolutionary. Remember, this was pre-Apple Computers. Individuals weren't thinking of owning computers, much less putting them to creative use. Computer art was strictly avant garde.

Ted Nelson on Project Xanadu, from "Dream Machines:"

Of course, if hypermedia aren't the greatest thing since the printing press, this whole project falls flat on its face. But it is hard for me to conceive that they will not be.

Tim Berners-Lee, coder of the first web browser, and Marc Andreessen, who coded Mosaic and co-founded Netscape with Jim Clark, are responsible for the World Wide Web as we know it. Berners-Lee packaged the Internet for the masses, with Andreessen tossing in graphics. Years earlier Ted Nelson had intended to stretch the Internet's boundaries, as well as making it universally accessible. Sadly, HTML allowed Berners-Lee/Andreesen's web to spread like wildfire, without losing the Internet's limited structure. Graphics and still images only enhanced websites' magazine feel. Instead of flipping through paper magazines, people pointed and clicked their way through ersatz electronic 'zines. Ironically, audio/video capabilities furthered this paper ambiance. Since audio/video clips demand specific software (i.e., players), they are self-contained within their own virtual space (defined by these players) outside the virtual paper space (defined by HTML) of websites. Full screen video scarcely negates my point; in fact, it proves it. Over the web full screen video is either present or not: i.e., experienced in and of itself. Shockwave is no different: just animations embedded within their own software. Ted Nelson's version of the Internet was seamless, absolutely fluid. Which brings us right back to James Joyce and Marcel Proust, authors whose writings swung toward multimedia...seamless multimedia; virtual reality...virtual reality not in the sense of Jaron Lanier, but Antonin Artaud.

Most people believe Jaron Lanier coined the term virtual reality in the early 1980s. Indeed, virtual reality is considered synonymous with the interface glove and head mounted display associated with Lanier's former company, VPL. But Artaud put those two words together - "virtual" "reality" - back in the early 1930s. Artaud's virtual reality was a modern equivalent of alchemy.

Antonin Artaud (1896-1948): poet, surrealist, theatrical visionary. In an essay entitled the "The Alchemical Theater" Artaud wrote:

All true alchemists know that the alchemical symbol is a mirage as the theater is a mirage. And this perpetual allusion to the materials and the principle of the theater found in almost all alchemical books should be understood as the expression of an identity (of which alchemists are extremely aware) existing between the world in which the characters, objects, images, and in a general way all that constitutes the virtual reality of the theater develops, and the purely fictitious and illusory world in which the symbols of alchemy are evolved.
Artaud envisioned alchemically charged multimedia environments physically enveloping, spiritually transforming audiences. In theater (as actor/director/writer/producer) he never came close to fulfilling his vision. This was partly due to a lifetime of drug abuse, but mostly because he was working in theater. Artistically Artaud longed for fluidity, seamlessness, a blurring not only between different mediums but between artist and audience. Modern theater audiences were emotionally shut off from such shamanic possibilities. In the 1920s and 1930s film and radio were rigidly one-way mediums. Computers were in their most fledgling state and the Internet did not exist.

Media guru Marshall McLuhan, who, to the best of my knowledge, wasn't familiar with Artaud's theories, had this to say regarding computers in his 1964 book "Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man:"

Our very word "grasp" or "apprehension" points to the process of getting at one thing through another, of handling and sensing many facets at a time through more than one sense at a time. It begins to be evident that "touch" is not skin but the interplay of the senses, and "keeping in touch" or "getting in touch" is a matter of a fruitful meeting of the senses, of sight translated into sound and sound into movement, and taste and smell. The "common sense" was for many centuries held to be the peculiar human power of translating one kind of experience of one sense into all the senses, and presenting the result continuously as a unified image in the mind. In fact, this image of a unified ratio among the senses was long held to be the mark of our rationality, and may in the computer age easily become so again. For it is now possible to program ratios among the senses that approach the condition of consciousness. Yet such a condition would necessarily be an extension of our own consciousness as much as wheel is an extension of feet in rotation. Having extended or translated our central nervous system into the electromagnetic technology, it is but a further stage to transfer our consciousness to the computer world as well. Then, at least, we shall be able to program consciousness in such wise that it cannot be numbed nor distracted by the Narcissus illusions of the entertainment world that beset mankind when he encounters himself extended in his own gimmickry.

If the work of the city is the remaking or translating of man into a more suitable form than his nomadic ancestors achieved, then might not our current translation of our entire lives into the spiritual form of information seem to make of the entire globe, and of the human family, a single consciousness?

Ted Nelson wrote in "Computer Lib" (1974):
Everyone should have some brush with computer programming, just to see what it is and isn't. What it is: casting mystical spells in arcane terminology, whose exact details have exact ramifications. What it isn't: talking or typing to the computer in some way that requires intelligence by the machine. What it is: an intricate technical art. What it isn't: science.

Ted Nelson, commenting on that passage in a telephone interview I conducted with him 8/2/00:

For some reason people seem to think I don't understand computers simply because I don't buy into the prevailing paradigms - for example, the path name and hierarchical directories, which must be eliminated. All tools are currently based on these ugly things, and it's like...you know.... Well, I'm trying to think of some biological analogy, but they're all too gross.... Giving in to some necessity that I absolutely refuse to countenance. We need a different world and how to built it is the question; not how do we take one more step toward the light because that's like trying to pile up chairs to reach the moon. It won't work.

Antonin Artaud sought the Holy Grail via alchemical theater, virtual reality. Artaud propounded magical realms transcending physicality. Computers can help us hone the physical world internally, reshape its virtual reality in cyberspace. Ted Nelson points toward interactive software synthesizing disparate media, breaking them down to their most basic form. In the case of text a single letter; with graphics and still pictures any part of an image; with audio a lone sound, solitary intonation, or note of music; with video a frame. Coded properly such software could generate a fierce hypermedia cascade reflecting the way words, images, and sounds rush through our minds. Wired globally, one might tap universal consciousness. Vaporware? For the moment, yes, but Project Xanadu is moving in the right direction with Zigzag, a program designed by Ted Nelson, being a first step. And since how future artists and information providers reap benefit from their wares must impact culturally every bit as much as style and content, Transpublishing, Ted Nelson's alternative approach to copyrighting, also brings us closer to the broader vision.

8/2/00 telephone interview with Ted Nelson. I ask about Vannevar Bush's essay "As We May Think."

I think I read it when it came out in 1945. Since I was eight my memory is necessarily incomplete. Everyone else who would have been in the family is now deceased. But we did subscribe to the Atlantic Monthly and I think there's a very good chance I read it at that time.

Of course, Nelson became thoroughly familiar with the essay later, printing it in its entirety in his book "Literary Machines."

Nelson, continuing:

It was always a part of my thinking because I was a media kid. Growing up in the 40s I was really into radio because radio was the center, and, as McLuhan correctly stated, that was a very different frame of reference, a very different mentality, because it was high bandwidth. You followed words. You could follow many conversations. You hear them trying to recreate radio plays now and they go so slowly. They just have no idea of the crackling speed at which those old radio plays took place, the multiple conversation layers. Similarly, in the cinema of that time you would have Cary Grant and "His Girl Friday" sort of things, containing very, very rapid-fire speech. I don't know if you're familiar with the iconic film of the 40s, "It's a Wonderful Life"? That is, I believe, the longest script in history. The amount of dialogue that flows is inconceivable. It's a long film, but the amount of dialogue is much greater than anyone would dare write today.

Ted Nelson is indeed a media kid. His father, Ralph Nelson, was perhaps the most successful director of the golden age of live television drama in the 1950s. His credits include Rod Serling's "Requiem for a Heavyweight" for which he won an Emmy. Ted Nelson's mother is Academy Award winning actress Celeste Holm. She won her Oscar in Elia Kazan's "Gentleman's Agreement," but most people remember her as the playwright's wife in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's classic satire "All About Eve," starring Bette Davis.

From Marshall McLuhan's "Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man:"

A few seconds from a popular disc-jockey show were typed out as follows:

"That's Patty Baby and that's the girl with the dancing feet and that's Freddy Cannon there on the David Mickie Show in the night time ooohbah scuba-doo how are you booboo. Next we'll be Swinging on a Star and ssshhhwwoooo and sliding on a moonbeam. Waaaaaaa how about that...one of the goodest guys with you...this is lovable kissable D.M. in the p.m. at 22 minutes past nine o'clock there, aahhrightie, we're gonna have a Hitline, all you have to do is call WALnut 5-1151, WALnut 5-1151, tell them what number it is on the Hitline."

Dave Mickie alternately soars, groans, swings, sings, solos, intones, and scampers, always reacting to his own actions. He moves entirely in the spoken rather than the written area of experience. It is in this way that audience participation is created. The spoken word involves all of the senses dramatically, though highly literate people tend to speak as connectedly and casually as possible.

Ted Nelson interview, continuing; Nelson referring to previous McLuhan passage, which I'd just described to him:

Because besides the words themselves there's the rhythm and thrust of the individual parts of the sentence. If you talk to someone who is brain damaged you'll hear them utter a sentence and be able to follow the thrust of each clause, even though each clause is misspoken, incoherent. Noam Chomsky had a sentence, "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously," which he said refuted the psychologists' assertion that grammar was nothing more than probability of occurrence. Since colorless and green had never occurred together, green and ideas had rarely if ever occurred together; ideas sleep and sleep furiously, each of these pairs had essentially a zero probability of occurring; and yet "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" is plainly an English sentence. Meta-characteristics of the utterance are completely clear, even though the detailed sub-portions have no meaning whatever.

Was Nelson more shaped by writers like James Joyce and Marcel Proust or by filmmakers like Sergei Eisenstein and Orson Welles?

Both. I was an intense media kid. I remember my first movie experience was walking down the aisle of a theater in rural New Jersey and Shirley Temple singing on the screen. I just froze in my tracks. A goddess was singing to me. The moment included even the smell of the carpet and the Coca Cola. From there cinema was always my church. But then we read a lot at home and Shakespeare was essentially the god of the house. So between these different media I never saw any conflict. To me all media were one from the very beginning.

I ask Nelson about Project Xanadu.

I hated the idea of things becoming unavailable...and still do. Preservation, access, unification are central. As soon as I saw in 1960 that media would all be digital...well, then why have separate media anymore? It would all be one. I've seen amusing terms. Multimedia is silly. Multimedia meant in the 1960s slides with tape, and so I like the term someone else coined: "blendo." But to me it's all hypermedia. We need to be able to create structures much richer than there are now. Yet the notion of really blending these things is just as foreign to these guys today because they're so locked into the particulars of individual pieces of software and that's got to be stopped. We've got to get away from that.

From "Computer Lib" (remember, this was written in 1974 - pre-Apple Computers, pre-Microsoft...indeed pre-Altair, which came out in 1975):

A new era in computers is dawning. The first, or Classic, computer era used straightforward equipment and worked on straightforward problems. The second, or Baroque, computer era used intricate equipment for hard-to-understand purposes, tied together with the greatest difficulty by computer professionals who couldn't or wouldn't explain very well what they were doing.

But a change is coming. No one company or faction is bringing it about, although some may feel it is not in their interest. I would like to call it here the DIAPHANOUS age of the computer. By "diaphanous" I refer both to the transparent, understandable character of the systems to come, and to the likelihood that computers will be showing us everything (dia- across everything, phainein- to show).

In the first place, COMPUTERS WILL DISAPPEAR CONCEPTUALLY, will become "transparent," in the sense of being parts of understandable wholes. Moreover, the "parts" of a computer system will have CLEAR CONCEPTUAL MEANING. In other words, COMPUTER SYSTEMS WILL BE UNDERSTANDABLE. Instead of things being complicated, they will become simple.

What does Ted Nelson think of the notion of a "diaphanous computer" today?

I've had my nose to a narrower grindstone.


In the sense that what I'm trying to do is create portable data that is location-free. The web fetishized the hierarchical directory and path name, now called a website. This was completely evil. You wanted exactly the opposite: data that could be replicated without location and always recognized wherever it was. Turning my attention to that is one of the principle things I'm on now.

Nelson is not exactly a big fan of Apple Computers.

Little was done with them in a visionary mode. Everything was - "How can we paper over this and sell it as something new?" - which, as far as I'm concerned, the Macintosh was. Verses really, really getting down to doing what should be done.

What does Nelson think of Marshall McLuhan's read on computers?

He was totally ignorant. We once had lunch. I really liked him as a person, but he didn't get it at all. What I hadn't been warned was that you don't get a second sentence in with McLuhan. So I started to talk about hypertext and he launched into his speech #340: "Well, a computer is completely invariant in its processes and unable to change its behavior in any way." Which is completely wrong. He just didn't get it, and the interesting thing is that some people take him as the visionary of hypermedia. In great fact, he was not. He was extrapolating his distinction between radio and television and print into realms he did not even dimly comprehend.

I mention "The Death of the Author," Roland Barthes' essay advocating a neo-socialist Nirvana with free flowing information and no copyright laws.

Which, by the way, because of people's natural tendency to hoard information, for either political, strategic, or other reasons, is an unfortunately impossible dream. I see copyright as the one way creative individuals can get a leg up, no matter what the techies say. There was always a hidden agenda with them. "We'll just destroy it because it is manifest destiny that it be destroyed." I too want Nirvana, although not socialist, nor neo-socialist. My aim is figuring out rational principles of availability and access that are fair to all parties and legally workable. Techies put forth that since everything can be copied, therefore, we'll just destroy copyright. Today I'm dealing with a very brilliant, very rich techie who simply says "I'll just buy a library, digitize it, and then the publishers will have to deal with me." I'm saying we have to be a little more delicate about it.

Mark Harden's Art Archive has a vast array of beautiful scans. For all intents and purposes, it's a virtual storehouse of art treasures dating back to cave paintings. The site's philosophy is that people should feel free to lift five or six images for non-profit purposes. Yet does not reality dictate that anyone can lift as many images as they please and put them to whatever use?

There's two realities. At the Battle of Trafalgar, or some such battle, Admiral Nelson declares, "Full speed ahead!" His assistant protests. "But what about those ships?" Nelson, holding up a telescope to his blind eye, the eye everyone knows is blind, replies, "I see no ships." Or...do what I said. When you say "reality dictates," there are a lot of realities. The word reality is usually political, meaning that what I choose to say is significant and I insist you acknowledge me. There are many aspects of reality and what is right there right now is not necessarily going to be prevailing if we can build a better system. So that is why I do not countenance most of today's so-called web standards, because they're crap. We need something much better and it is my duty to try to make a different reality which can supplant that other reality. I mean, a few hours on the web and you can have a whole lot of gifs and jpegs. Now, those things are being posted with a lot of implicit assumptions which the courts will be settling later, and whether you can repost, etcetera, is entirely uncertain. If you're pulling things out of, like, Skira Art Books, you're in deep shit. By the way, all these museums that are trying to claim copyright on 2000 year old things that they happen to own, God knows what's going to happen with that...like copyrighting the human gene.

Can one copyright a scan?

These are legal tricks and we'll see which ones stand up in which ways.

"Computer Lib" decries "the creeping evil of Professionalism." "I see Professionalism as the spreading disease of the present-day world..."

I guess my claim at this point on that subject would be that everybody is seeking greater legitimacy and better pay for what they do, whether welding chips together, typing, or passing on the supposed validity of art objects. Professionalism is the stance that "I am highly trained; therefore, my work should be very expensive." In the case of what Talcott Parsons called professionalism, a highly technical definition, we have an association which governs entrance to the trade based on competence and training. So there's considerable similarity between the Plumbers' Union and the American Sociological Association. The upside is charlatans are pushed out of the field. The downside is talented but unqualified people are pushed out and you don't have all the options you should. It's a continual push and shove. I would just put professionalism now in the category of one more arena where people fight with each other.

Nelson riffing on computer software, the film industry:

I always wanted creative control of software and it's taken me till now to get it. I didn't realize that since the techies thought they could design interactive software no one in the world had any right to tell them otherwise. The decision process of Hollywood applies, a market system whereby people's claims to magic are centrally dealt with. So that some people are deemed to have magic, like Spielberg, because they reliably bring in money. That being the simplest and most easy to measure criterion of magic. Those who have a different kind of magic that doesn't bring in money, like Orson Welles, don't get the backing, and there's a whole big middle ground. I was definitely a disciple of Welles. When I was 15 I joined something called Cinema 16, a movie society. I attended a few of their screenings. What it really drove home to me was that you could make very inexpensive films, very personal films. I remember "L' Atalante" by Jean Vigo, a lovely low-budget French film about a canal boat people lived on. Then we had Norman McLaren's stuff. The Scottish animator just drew on film, drew on the soundtrack, creating short films with pens and pencils. His work was a great surprise to everyone. But it was also the fact that it was packaged by the National Film Board of Canada. If they had not somehow given it their imprimatur I think no one would have given McLaren a chance. Still, I was impressed by how much you could do with very little. I was going to be a low-budget filmmaker, work my way up in Hollywood...until I saw a computer and that was my undoing.

How could I not interject and ask about computer film pioneer John Whitney?

John Whitney and I were good friends. He was going to join me at the Sapporo HyperLab in Japan just before he died. Whitney started in the early 40s with his own homemade optical printer. He came up with motion control techniques that led to the slit-scan Star Gate sequence in Kubrick's "2001." In the 60s Whitney got a grant from IBM and made a film called "Permutations" using a digital computer. An extremely sophisticated, dedicated man.

Our interview winding down:

People keep asking me how Xanadu is different from the web. It's like how is plankton different from the Queen Mary. There's just no resemblance. When it comes to preservation, access, writing - yes, writing itself, a horrendous problem just not understood by technical people - version management, rights management, reusing content and knowing you're reusing it, original context, regarding all these things the basic Xanadu model was entirely straightforward. Content would be registered, given final addresses, and we would distribute lists of content, essentially what are now called EDLs - Edit Decision Lists. Which is to say now put this here, put that there. Each piece of content would be paid for as you bought it from the rights holder, upon choosing it from the EDL. This is an extremely clean model. What I'm doing now is moving it forward into the web, trying to simplify it because in the 1988 Xanadu model we had it all gummed up with proprietary techniques. Ah, there we were in 1988, colossally efficient...and the web just threw out everything. Rights, management conversion, seeing context, seeing origins, unbreakable two-way links...forget it. They got it all wrong, but it can still be fixed. The courts are going to stomp in. You see, here are all these grinning kids thinking that they've gotten away with it with Napster. They don't know what's coming. The crackdown is coming and it's going to be so nasty and they don't get it. I'm just trying to create the rational system the web should have been in the first place and would have been if we hadn't screwed up politically. Tim Berners-Lee fashioned a way of pointing at conventional files and conventional directories via path names, visible to the user, over the Net. To me the notion of files and hierarchical directories is an unfortunate tradition that messes up the very nature of content. Marc Andreessen added Technicolor, all the special effects garbage he could cram in, glorifying, fetishizing these hierarchical directories which are now called websites and are located at URLs. So you have one-way ever-breaking links, a shopwindow model. Whereas you don't want to have to put it in a single place. That's like saying that such and such a book is the book you'll find on the fourth shelf, third from the right. It's ridiculous. The book should have a title and be retrievable from anywhere without the so-called URL. It's all about the politics of standardization. The political moves required...I hope I'll be able to make them. It's not websites themselves that are limited, but the keyhole through which you have to look. The main question is whether in this chowder that is the web we can create a new channel which is clean and clear and that's what I'm trying to do.

Anyone interested in hypertext must check out The Electronic Labyrinth. It has pages on Hypertext, The Hyperbook, The Book, The Book of Nature, The Commonplace Book, The Novel, Writing, Modernism and the Modern Novel, Postmodernism and the Postmodern Novel, The End of the Book, The Literature of Exhaustion, Illumination and the Electronic Sign, Connections Without Centre: Infinite Hypertext, etc. To say nothing of pages dealing with Ted Nelson: Computers, Pedagogy, and Composition, Information Server as McDonald's, Intermedia, Node, and Ted Nelson and Xanadu. The Electronic Labyrinth traces hypertext back to and through the "Festal Epistle of St. Athanasius," Edmund Spenser's "The Faerie Queene," Laurence Sterne's "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman," William Blake and the Illuminated Book, Sigmund Freud's "A Note Upon the Mystic Writing Pad," Vladimir Nabokov's "Pale Fire," Milorad Pavic's "Dictionary of the Khazars," Michael Joyce's "Afternoon, a story," and Stuart Moulththrop's "Dreamtime."

© 2000 Peter Schmideg.

Writings Index