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Indexes as 
Hypertext 
Tesserae to tablets... 
...uncovering the future 
5 September 2014 
Simon Rowberry 
Simon.Rowberry@winchester.ac.uk 
@sprowberry
“the sense of 
‘hyper-’ [in 
hypertext] 
connotes 
extension and 
generality”
Literary Hypertext
Hypertext needs structure 
Indexes can provide this!
“In one sense the index defines other 
books that could be constructed from the 
materials at hand, other themes that the 
author could have formed into an 
analytical narrative, and so invites the 
reader to read the book in alternative 
ways. An index transforms a book from a 
tree into a network, offering multiplicity in 
place of a single order of paragraphs and 
pages” (Jay David Bolter)
Indexing & Power
Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire(1962) 
• A poet & a madman in two realities: 
New Wye & Zembla 
• Parody of a scholarly edition or 
detective fiction? 
• Hypertext structure 
Dramatis Personæ: 
John Shade 
Charles Kinbote 
Jakob Gradus
71 
247 
894
Where does Pale Fire end? 
OR
А [a] 
Б [b] 
В [v] 
Г [g] 
Д [d] 
Е [e] 
Ё [yo] 
Ж [zh] 
З [z] ZEMBLA 
И [i] 
Й [j] 
К [k] 
Л [l] 
М [m] 
Н [n] 
О [o] 
П [p] 
Р [r] 
С [s] 
Т [t] 
У [u] 
Ф [f] 
Х [h] 
Ц [cz] 
Ч [ch] 
Ш [sh] 
Щ [shh] 
Ъ [“] 
Ы [y’] 
Ь [‘] 
Э [e’] 
Ю [yu] 
Я [ya] ORBICLE OF JASP
• Line 558: “Terra the Fair, an orbicle of 
jasp” 
• Note: “The loveliest couplet in this 
canto” 
• Only behind: cell and box 
• Other choices: Yaruga, Yaroslavskiy, 
Janus, iamb, linguist, apple, buttocks
Mark Danielewski, House of Leaves 
(2000) 
• A house much bigger on the inside 
• A scholarly text with two protagonists 
–Typographically ambitious 
Dramatis Personæ: 
Will Navidson 
Zampanò 
Johnny Truant
iv-v 
vii 
319 
376 
379
Ed. 
• NOT IN INDEX: 
134, 550-552, 586, 
646-645, 650-656, 
• ED. FOR EDITOR: 
11, 16-17, 34, 46, 71, 
86, 88, 100, 115, 122- 
123, 126, 136, 152, 
165, 596, 301, 305, 
320, 331-332, 378, 
381, 413, 480
Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts 
(2007) • Like Jaws, but with words 
• Conceptual sharks 
• Plays with the material page 
• Unchapters and negative space 
Dramatis Personæ: 
Eric Sanderson 
Scout 
Dr Fidorus 
Mycroft Ward
33 
64 
158 
247 
267
Subversive Indexing 
PF: Shade, Sybil, S’s wife, passim. 
RST: Code, Rule of four, █ 
Aames, Clio, (Gold Index only) 
HoL: collagen . . . DNE [Does Not 
Exist]
Subversive Indexing in RST 
Gold Index only: 
Clio Aames; The First Eric 
Sanderson; The Second Eric 
Sanderson; Scout 
Redacted: 
Rule of Four Code; 
Ludovician<Metavician; Mycroft 
Ward
Does Not Exist in HoL 
• Aggressor 
• Arterial 
• Ballerina 
• Bandage 
• Buckles 
• Bundle 
• Buttress 
• Canine 
• Capricious 
• Cartouche 
• Claps 
• Collagen 
• Collector 
• Condemn 
• Confuse 
• Copacetic 
• Crab 
• Custodian 
• Dazzle 
• Defenstration 
• Dégueulasse 
• Denounce 
• Denunciation 
• Detritus 
• Diner 
• Disclose 
• Discombobula 
ting 
• Disintegrate 
• Dispossess 
• Dolphin 
• Domus(black) 
• Donkey 
• Eject 
etc
All three tactics encourage the user to 
search through the text.
Feral 
Indexing?
Indexes and 
Bookishness
Reconfigure the Index
Indexes as 
Hypertext 
Tesserae to tablets... 
...uncovering the future 
5 September 2014 
Simon Rowberry 
Simon.Rowberry@winchester.ac.uk 
@sprowberry

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Indexes as Hypertext

  • 1. Indexes as Hypertext Tesserae to tablets... ...uncovering the future 5 September 2014 Simon Rowberry Simon.Rowberry@winchester.ac.uk @sprowberry
  • 2. “the sense of ‘hyper-’ [in hypertext] connotes extension and generality”
  • 3.
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7. Hypertext needs structure Indexes can provide this!
  • 8. “In one sense the index defines other books that could be constructed from the materials at hand, other themes that the author could have formed into an analytical narrative, and so invites the reader to read the book in alternative ways. An index transforms a book from a tree into a network, offering multiplicity in place of a single order of paragraphs and pages” (Jay David Bolter)
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15. Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire(1962) • A poet & a madman in two realities: New Wye & Zembla • Parody of a scholarly edition or detective fiction? • Hypertext structure Dramatis Personæ: John Shade Charles Kinbote Jakob Gradus
  • 16.
  • 18. Where does Pale Fire end? OR
  • 19. А [a] Б [b] В [v] Г [g] Д [d] Е [e] Ё [yo] Ж [zh] З [z] ZEMBLA И [i] Й [j] К [k] Л [l] М [m] Н [n] О [o] П [p] Р [r] С [s] Т [t] У [u] Ф [f] Х [h] Ц [cz] Ч [ch] Ш [sh] Щ [shh] Ъ [“] Ы [y’] Ь [‘] Э [e’] Ю [yu] Я [ya] ORBICLE OF JASP
  • 20. • Line 558: “Terra the Fair, an orbicle of jasp” • Note: “The loveliest couplet in this canto” • Only behind: cell and box • Other choices: Yaruga, Yaroslavskiy, Janus, iamb, linguist, apple, buttocks
  • 21.
  • 22. Mark Danielewski, House of Leaves (2000) • A house much bigger on the inside • A scholarly text with two protagonists –Typographically ambitious Dramatis Personæ: Will Navidson Zampanò Johnny Truant
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25.
  • 26.
  • 27. iv-v vii 319 376 379
  • 28. Ed. • NOT IN INDEX: 134, 550-552, 586, 646-645, 650-656, • ED. FOR EDITOR: 11, 16-17, 34, 46, 71, 86, 88, 100, 115, 122- 123, 126, 136, 152, 165, 596, 301, 305, 320, 331-332, 378, 381, 413, 480
  • 29. Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts (2007) • Like Jaws, but with words • Conceptual sharks • Plays with the material page • Unchapters and negative space Dramatis Personæ: Eric Sanderson Scout Dr Fidorus Mycroft Ward
  • 30.
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33. 33 64 158 247 267
  • 34. Subversive Indexing PF: Shade, Sybil, S’s wife, passim. RST: Code, Rule of four, █ Aames, Clio, (Gold Index only) HoL: collagen . . . DNE [Does Not Exist]
  • 35. Subversive Indexing in RST Gold Index only: Clio Aames; The First Eric Sanderson; The Second Eric Sanderson; Scout Redacted: Rule of Four Code; Ludovician<Metavician; Mycroft Ward
  • 36. Does Not Exist in HoL • Aggressor • Arterial • Ballerina • Bandage • Buckles • Bundle • Buttress • Canine • Capricious • Cartouche • Claps • Collagen • Collector • Condemn • Confuse • Copacetic • Crab • Custodian • Dazzle • Defenstration • Dégueulasse • Denounce • Denunciation • Detritus • Diner • Disclose • Discombobula ting • Disintegrate • Dispossess • Dolphin • Domus(black) • Donkey • Eject etc
  • 37. All three tactics encourage the user to search through the text.
  • 40.
  • 41.
  • 42.
  • 44. Indexes as Hypertext Tesserae to tablets... ...uncovering the future 5 September 2014 Simon Rowberry Simon.Rowberry@winchester.ac.uk @sprowberry