Patchwork Girl, a hypertext vision sewn together by Shelley Jackson, is a story and an account of the creation of a monster and the relationship the mind has with the monster within the technical boundary of lexia. The monster metaphorically was originally created by Mary Shelley in Frankenstein, but has now resurfaced in a layered identity with an opposing forum of complexity. Jackson has designed her version of the timeless tale from the female perspective by offering the reader not only a facet into the monster’s mind, but that of Mary’s, the girl’s, and of the author’s, which accounts for three female angles of perception. Through each narrative voice (and/or lexia), the reader discovers the psychological nightmare of mental maturity and the pains of achieving the ultimate sense of creativity or life. For Mary it is the obsession of the creation of life and the dedication to keep a promise, while for the girl and the monster it is the aspect of finding the understanding and acceptance in a stitched life. However, for Shelley Jackson the nightmare is the hyper literary challenge of stitching together thought and creation in fictional prose to show the relationship of mother to child or writer to the word by the means of technology.
The Hypertext fiction Patchwork Girl is offered with three primary story lines in lexia story format, which is effectively connected or stitched together to reveal the lives of Mary, Shelley, the girl, and the monster from the creative impulse of the mind’s imagination visually represented in a non-linear string of links. As the reader or in this case user enters the hypertextual world of Shelley Jackson’s words, the initial question, "Where should I begin," ...
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...readers or audience a compelling story, visual stimulation, various inter-linked story progression, unlimited path access, complex thematic motives, and unpredictability of discovery. For these reasons alone, it can be assumed that hypertext fiction will intrigue itself into the spectrum of popular culture and with that establish a longevity, which may surpass previous forms of literary media.
Works Cited and Consulted
Hayles, N. Katherine. "Simulating Narratives: What Virtual Creatures Can Teach Us." Critical Inquiry 26 (1999): 1-26.
---. "Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers." How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. 25-49.
Jackson, Shelley. Patchwork Girl by Mary/Shelley and herself. Watertown, MA: Eastgate Systems, 1995. Electronic.
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