Date: 22 November 2001
I've been working hard on the Unknown for a few days. I didn't mean to. It just happened. Here's a list of new scenes I uploaded just now:
Hopefully we can get the hypertext finished by 2002, then work on putting together the book. The way I see it, we all swear an oath to quit drinking and working on the hypertext, except for the purpose of fixing identified fuck-ups. And we gear all our efforts toward the manuscript. Then, when that's done, and when we're on the verge of promoting the book, we can go back and do one last sweep through the hypertext and then do another wave of publicity: UNKNOWN FIXES LAST SPELLING ERROR: INTERNATIONAL AWARD-WINNING HYPERTEXT NOVEL FINALLY COMPLETE.
Some orphaned files I am in favor of leaving in place. While any text files we present should be polished to perfection, lost obscure images or forgettable sound files, while inaccessible on the web, might be a special perk to the owners of the Unknown CD-ROM: The Definitive Edition. For those who aren't content just reading the story, and want to go poking around in the directories and code, the Unknown will yield its secrets.
Here's an assignment for you guys: we have written a few of our favorite writers special blurbs, but in such a way that a disproportionate number of these blurbs celebrate, shall I say, a very narrow sociological definition of writer. Yes, let's admit it, according to the Unknown, the greatest writers in literature are people whose last names start with the letter B. Someone should write a blurb for Zukovsky or Zora Neale Hurston: we haven't used our dropcap Z in any of our scenes. Also, I've been adding comment tags to add digital graffiti and note what I remember about each page. Sort of like scrawling in the margins of our own book. Marginalia: a little extra something for those Unknown scholars who know how to read HTML.
I read the Unknown on Lynx, the text-only browser, so I added alt tags to all the headers: <alt="The Unknown: the Brown Line">. So now when Sven Birkerts and Robert Coover debate the future of electronic literature at writing conferences, millions of Americans, unable to download the streaming video, will instead be on the subway on their way to their IT jobs reading the Unknown on their pagers, cellphones, and cellular-modem-equipped Palm Pilots. And our color-based navigation scheme can now funtion in the absence of color. This page is orange.
With eyestrain, tendonitis, warmest regards, and apologies
to Scott for version-contol problems,