Labyrinth… is a polish interactive hypertext novel. Textual layer of the artwork is broadly inspired by postmodern books including If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino. It is referenced in the text both by a literary (by a note hold by one of the characters) and a metatextual structure of intertwining storylines (however a-story-within-a-story concept is replaced with a looping hyperlink chain).
Because of that metatextual play the format of the hypertext (which is a MS Windows application written in C#) is important and significant itself. Although GUI could be initially seen as just a side-effect of using electronic medium, it in fact constitutes the mentioned metatextual layer. The text among with references to literature contains a lot of references to GUI widgets, algorithms and cognitive schemata typical to interfaces of computer programs. It is in fact a proof-of-concept of using (currently unused in literature) poetics of application interfaces to express fictional narratives and give them new emergent value.
To achieve that goal, the hypertext is intentionaly written differently compared to classical hypertextual literature of the 1980s. It is intended not to be ergodic (although it somehow is). Even if the plot is non-linear (in fact it is a loop with side-chains) the fictional world is stable and remains consistent between different reading sessions. The text is to be read more like Wikipedia (reading about constant reality in custom order) rather than Afternoon, A Story (where different reading sessions produce different fabular sequences).
Instead, the novel is paraconsistent on a storyline level. It has two endings. The fake one is offered only to be rejected by a reader (the GUI buttons should result in an action inside story, not just in showing next lexia!) leaving him inside a story loop which should be traversed like a labyrinth – to find the exit. And its exit is a side-chain of the novel which branches in the middle of a plot. In a result a question remains: Which part of the story was real and which was a dream? The branching one or the looping part with fake ending?
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