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 themost mainstream circles of technophiles, humanists in general and classicistsin particular can remain confident that their fields of study are far frombeing ignored by this recent development in computerized resources. (SeeCO 69 [Fall 1991]: 26 for a basic discussion of hypermedia and hypertext.)Delany and Landon have gathered an excellent collection of papers on currenttheory and state-of-the-art applications representing a broad cross-sectionof 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 detaileddescription of the Perseus Project by Gregory Crane and Elli Mylonas (Harvard).The editors themselves state that "[some of] the most intense workin applying hypertext to literature has been found in ... classical studies"(31).
Though a familiarity with basic computer terminology is helpful, the bookdoes a good job of avoiding technical details. Those who are still feelingswamped by every successive wave of new technology might be consoled bythe editors' admission that they "still found equipment from everyage of literacy indispensable" in the preparation of the book. "Wemight assume, from this, that hypertext and hypermedia are likely to provesupplemental technologies rather than clear-cut substitutions for textualmodes..." (Foreword)