This pioneering hypertext narrative poem was originally written in 1986-1987 in UNIX and BASIC (for floppy disk distribution) and was published as a Web version in 1995. The first of these, “A Party in Woodside,” offers two navigational options for readers to explore: a set of icons to the left of the poem which allows readers to read the work as it was serially written and published in 1986, or by following links from a textual mapping of the narrative:
jenny puffy uncle roger dreams and nightmares jane jeff jack family tom dorrie men in tan suits louise rose chips mark laura food and drink miss gorgel caroline david the house in woodside
Whenever a node contains one of the elements listed above, the element appears as a link, which allows readers to follow thematic or character driven sequences, which allows for multiple reading paths to experience this work.
Part of what has made this such an endearing and enduring work is Malloy’s instincts for structure and humor, pacing and plot. She chose to write a fragmented story about non-linear and associative things: parties, dreams, human interactions, food, the comings and goings of a cat, and more. She populated this world with a few memorable characters, but none more so than Uncle Roger himself, an always amusing trickster. The smoothly flowing prosy free verse foregrounds the narrative yet it finds moments to punctuate a situation with a well placed line break.
Now go explore this funny, sexy work and find out for yourself who ate the wrong bit of salmon roll.
Note: The posting above refers to the authoritative Web version. Try Malloy’s new emulated BASIC version for an experience closer to the original. (August 21, 2012)