reading mark bernstein's two blog posts - Figurski and Women, a Footnote - makes we wish the comment feature were working NOW.
bernstein is founder and chief scientist of eastgate systems. established in 1982, eastgate is best known, i believe, in academic circles and has published some of the most classic works of what some call "serious hypertext," including shelley jackson's patchwork girl, stuart moulthrop's victory garden, and michael joyce's afternoon, a story. eastgate is also the publisher of richard holeton's figurski at findhorn on acid, which jessica laccetti reviewed for RCCS for november, 2006.
bernstein takes issue with a number of things in the review, but focuses especialy on a point laccetti makes in a footnote about gender and hypertext. laccetti notes:
- Additionally, the prefix, "hyper" problematizes feminist thought (which has sought to destabilize hierarchies such as mind over body and vision over touch) as it adds inscriptions of hierarchy to an already seemingly hierarchical and male-dominated field. The theorists are male (Bolter, Landow, Amerika, Lanham, Joyce, Aarseth, Moulthrop), the hypertexts often discussed are written by men (Landow, Bolter, Joyce, Coover, Amerika), and the visions they present us with are distinctly male.
i'm grateful that bernstein has brought attention to these scholars, researchers, and authors; i am familiar with some but not all. but i wish bernstein weren't so belligerent. his posts are extremely condescending. it's as if he wants to argue a point rather than foster a dialogue. i neither study nor read as much hypertext as i did as a graduate student (does anyone?), but the past and present field of hypertext studies is, like all academic fields, a field where males occupy the most privileged places, positions, and voices.
one thing bernstein skips is the novel itself. i have not yet read figurski at findhorn on acid, but how can i not read it after jessica's description:
- A general synopsis would spotlight the main protagonist Frank Figurski who has recently concluded his jail term for the murder of Professor Quentin Kingsley. Since leaving jail, Frank is on a mission to uncover the authenticity of a seventeenth-century mechanical pig (which washed up on the beach in Findhorn Park). Frank's journey will be complicated and perhaps even dangerous; he is not the only one after the truth and he is on acid.
(one quick note of clarification: bernstein writes that the resource center for cyberculture studies is at the university of maryland. yo, RCCS is at the university of san francisco; it hasn't been at maryland since september, 2001.)
at RCCS, books are just the beginning - they are read by people who then generate reviews. soon, i hope, RCCS reviews will be another beginning - they will be read by people who will generate comments about the books, comments about the reviews, and comments about the comments.