This poetic hypertext novella was developed using an authoring system called Literatronic. Developed by Juan Gutierrez, this adaptive system is designed to generate a coherent immersive experience for readers of hypertext works (read his description for more details). By recommending “pages” that connect with key words in the current reading page, remembering reader’s choices, the system avoids repetition and navigational loops that frustrate so many readers of hypertext works, allowing them to achieve a sense of closure or at least completion of the work.
Marino’s work’s title is all in lower case as a tribute to an important early work of hypertext fiction: afternoon: a story by Michael Joyce. Likeafternoon, Marino’s language varies from lean prose and dialogue to rich moments of prose poetry. In addition to having characters and situations organize the work for cohesion, it also operates under a constraint that enhances its poetic function: each lexia contains a reference to hands.
One could read this work less as a narrative and more as a series of prose odes to hands embedded within a hypertext fiction. Part of the pleasure of this piece is its manicured digressions that gently arrest the forward momentum of the hypertext authoring system.