The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing

Indexes as hypertext

The Indexer: The International Journal of Indexing (2015), 33, (2), 50–56.

Abstract

Digital media presents several challenges to the index, but this ignores the fact that the index has played an important role in the development of the computer. Hypertext, or links between chunks of text, is a vital concept in computation, and one which can be traced back to the index. The author explores the link between indexes and hypertext through three case studies of novels with indexes: Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale fire, Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of leaves and Steven Hall’s The raw shark texts. This analysis reveals how indexes can be used as a subversive part of experimental fiction that authors employ to encourage the reader to move beyond superficial forms of reading.

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Bolter, J. D. (1991) Writing space: the computer, hypertext, and the history of writing. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Taxonomy Writing space: the computer, hypertext, and the history of writing Google Scholar

Danielewski, M. (2000) House of leaves. London: Transworld. House of leaves Google Scholar

Goldacre, B. (2013) Bad science, Kindle edn. London: Fourth Estate. Bad science Google Scholar

Hall, S. (2007) The raw shark texts. Edinburgh: Canongate. The raw shark texts Google Scholar

Nabokov, V. (1962) Pale fire. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons. Pale fire Google Scholar

Nelson, T. H. (1965) ‘Complex information processing: a file structure for the complex, the changing and the indeterminate’. In Proceedings of the 1965 20th national conference. New York: ACM, pp. 84–100. Complex information processing: a file structure for the complex, the changing and the indeterminate 84 100 Google Scholar

Wright, J. (2012) ‘The devil is in the details: indexes versus Amazon’s X-Ray.’ The Indexer, 30(1), 11–16. The Indexer 30 11 16 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Rowberry, Simon