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CO 69.4 [Summer1992], p. 146: Note (brief book review).

Hypermedia and Literary Studies.
By PAUL DELANY and GEORGE P. LANDOW, ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990. Pp. 352. Cloth. N.P.

While "hypermedia" has become a trendy buzzword among even the most mainstream circles of technophiles, humanists in general and classicists in particular can remain confident that their fields of study are far from being ignored by this recent development in computerized resources. (See CO 69 [Fall 1991]: 26 for a basic discussion of hypermedia and hypertext.) Delany and Landon have gathered an excellent collection of papers on current theory and state-of-the-art applications representing a broad cross-section of literature-based subject areas.

Of particular interest to classicists are contributions from our colleagues: a theoretical essay on the development of "the electronic writing space" by Jay David Bolter (Univ. of North Carolina--Chapel Hill) and a detailed description of the Perseus Project by Gregory Crane and Elli Mylonas (Harvard). The editors themselves state that "[some of] the most intense work in applying hypertext to literature has been found in ... classical studies" (31).

Though a familiarity with basic computer terminology is helpful, the book does a good job of avoiding technical details. Those who are still feeling swamped by every successive wave of new technology might be consoled by the editors' admission that they "still found equipment from every age of literacy indispensable" in the preparation of the book. "We might assume, from this, that hypertext and hypermedia are likely to prove supplemental technologies rather than clear-cut substitutions for textual modes..." (Foreword)

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