Hyperautobiographies on The Web
- Definitions, Related Genres, Hyper-Scripting

Universidad de Costa Rica
Escuela de Ciencias de la Comunicación Colectiva

Hyperautobiographies on The Web
- Definitions, Related Genres, Hyper-Scriptwriting -

( An Essay )

Dr. Anwar Al-Ghassani
Professor of Journalism, Computer-Mediated
Communication and Internet


June 2001



The essay defines conventional autobiographies, hyperautobiographies, and related genres.
Text and hypertext are compared. In addition to an overview of
hyperautobiographies and related genres available on the Web, an attempt is being
made to elaborate categories for the classification of websites
with autobiographical content. Some hyper-scripting operations are described in
non-technical terms. Complex relations within the process of hyper-scripting, such
as interaction between the real and the virtual, are discussed.
A diary entry, written by the author, is hyper-scripted and presented as
a demonstration example. The essay concludes with some thoughts about the future
of hyperautobiography as a new literary genre. Hyper-scripting is expanding
the writer's perspective and options by making new writing methods and
multimedia resources and tools available to the writer. Samples of front
pages of autobiographical websites are included in the annex.
The essay is an easy-to-read free reflection about the subject. Features typical
to academic research texts are kept to a minimum.

Product Description

Title: Hyperautobiographies on The Web
- Definitions, Related Genres, Hyper-Scripting
Author: Anwar Al-Ghassani
Date: June 2001
Type: Academic / free reflection essay
Language: English. Some quotations are in Spanish and German
Structure: Cover, content list, text (inserted notes), bibliography
(conventional resources, Web resources), annex front pages of selected autobiographical
websites (not available in electronic version)
Size: 160kb (Word file), 39 pages (without annex)
Version & Carrier: soft version electronic file; hard version paper
URL: http://sindbads.com/hyperautobio.html

To get a copy of the full text, contact: alghassa@racsa.co.cr



0. Introduction
1. Autobiography and Related Genres
2. Some preliminary Definitions
3. Characteristics of the Web
4. Autobiography, Hyperautobiography and Related Genres on
the Web
5. Categories of Websites with Conventional
Autobiographical and Hyperautobiographical Content
6. The Impact of the Web on the Production and Reception of
Autobiographies, Hyperautobiographies and Related
7. Hyperautobiography: The Author - Hyper-Scriptwriter
8. Example: Hyper-Scripting a Diary Entry
9. Outlook

Selected Bibliography


Frontpages of Selected Autobiographical Websites


( ...)

4. Autobiography, Hyperautobiography and Related Genres on the Web

Since the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW or the Web) in 1989
(Berners-Lee, 00) and the creation of websites for the publication of autobiographical content,
the Web has become a new channel for writing, presenting, distribution and feedback. It is now common

to speak of electronic autobiographies, and hyperautobiographies and related genres
such as hypermemoirs, hyperjournals, hyperdiaries, hypertestimonies, hyperconfessions,

hypecorrespondences, hyperconversations, hyperbiographies, etc. (we will refer to all these
genres collectively as hyperautobiographies and related genres)

By hyperautobiographies and related hyper genres we mean autobiographical content
autobiographies and related genres) that has been authored and scripted specially
for the Web and then published on the Web.

The Web contains also e- autobiographies, that is to say conventional autobiographies and
related genres whose original printed texts were electronized and published on the Web.
Most classical autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, etc. are now available in electronic versions
on the Web. These are not hyperautobiographies even if they happen to contain links. Usually
e-autobiographies are not scripted for the Web. They do not have the variety of multimedia and
interaction resources hyperautobiographies have.

Both e-autobiographies and hyperautobiographies originate from verbal texts. However,
e-autobiographies are electronic versions of printed texts, simple hypertexts, while
hyperautobiographies are specially scripted for the Web. They are completely new literary
communicational interactive products with extensive use of multimedia resources and tools.

It should also be noted that not all hyperautobiographies and related hyper genres meet the
conditions of the above-mentioned definition and comply with high quality standards even though
when some scriptwriting is done to produce them for the Web. Some are indeed poor in quality,
others are not more than simple autobiographies and diaries whose owners, for convenience reasons,
deposit them on the Web instead of keeping them in paper files.

Finally, it is interesting to observe how owners of autobiographical websites define their websites.
Newhall considers his diary a “personal online diary” constantly updated with “what’s happening in my
life, interesting links I’ve come across, and anything else that I want to save for posterity.” (Newhall, 01).
The Daze & Quirks website describes itself as “somewhere between journal, datebook, itinerary,
Rorshach test and perhaps a few other things (…)” (Daze & Quirks, 01)


7. Hyperautobiography: The Author - Hyper-Scriptwriter Perspective

The author-scriptwriter perspective is closely related to the creation, production, and reception processes
of hyperautobiographies. This perspective is above all about how the author and/or the hyper-scriptwriter
perceives, conceives, and organizes the hypertext creation and production process.

An outline of the main operations of hypertexting autobiographical content, in which an author-hyper-scriptwriter
is involved, requires understanding the meaning of a number of terms related to the main writing and
hyperwriting operations: writing, writer, linear writing (linear reporting), hyperwriting (hyperediting in the broadest
sense), hyper-scriptwriter.

Writing is the process of creating and putting together of verbal sentences and texts. The resulting text is
linear (conventional text).

A Writer creates linear texts (conventional texts).

Linear Writing (Linear Reporting) is what a writer (conventional writer) of an autobiography does. He/she
writes/reports about events and related facts, thoughts, ideas, and stories by creating a linear (conventional) text.

Hyperwriting (hyperediting) is the process of creating, putting together, and editing of verbal sentences
and texts, graphics, video, sound, and other multimedia resources. The resulting text is hyper, a text
accessible in both linear and non-linear modalities. Hyperwriting may also be called hyper-scriptwriting.
A writer is hyperwriting or hyper-scriptwriting when he/she works on his/her own text and produces
a “script” for hypertexting that text. On the other hand, a writer would be hyperediting if he/she is
hypertexting works or texts provided by others (preparing the texts for hyperpublication on the Web).

Texts of autobiographies and related genres can be hyperwritten or hyperedited. Hyperautobiographies
and related hyper genres are the result of this activity. However, we have to distinguish between two kinds
of hyperautobiographies: authentic and non-authentic. Authentic hyperautobiographies are those written
and scripted for the sole purpose of displaying them on the Web. Web elements and resources are added
to them, not as aggregates, they are integrated in the text, grow with it and build its very genre identity.
Non-authentic hyperautobiographies are based on printed conventional autobiographies

hypertextualized for display on the Web. Web elements and resources are aggregated a posteriori to
non-authentic hyperautobiographies.

Hyper-scriptwriter creates hypertexts. He is a writer as far as the creation of conventional verbal text
is concerned, and a hyper-scriptwriter because in order to create a hypertext, he/she uses and composes
resources that go beyond the resources of conventional writing.

We have to remember that whether we are dealing with an authentic or non-authentic hyperautobiography,
both have a verbal text at their foundation. A verbal texts is in all cases the starting-point.

The relation between authoring and the subsequent scriptwriting of the authored text is similar to the difference
between what Hickam calls “the first draft” and the “rewrite phase” of a memoir. The first draft contains the facts,
the factual truth, the second phase is about the “emotional truth” (Struckel, 00, 30-31).

Whether we choose to speak of an author-hyper-scriptwriter perspective, or author’s and hyper-scriptwriter’s
perspectives, they are all determined by the following cardinal questions that drive their creative action. There
are many other questions involved, but these key questions are decisive.

The author of a conventional autobiography seems to be motivated by the questions: What happened or what
is happening (in diaries and journals)? What is the essence (meaning) behind the façade of events?

The hyper-scriptwriter of hyperautobiographies is motivated by questions that go beyond the questions that
motivate the author. His concern is broader: How can the hypertextualization of my narrative and the infinite
multi-level and multi-directional combination possibilities of multimedia resources (graphics, photos, video,
animation, sound, etc.) help me capture the essence (meaning) of events? And, how can the virtualization
based on the realistic narrative help through comparison, juxtaposition, contrasting, interchange, and linking
to other sources, make me understand better and renders my autobiography intellectually and emotionally
more intelligible and attractive by making it intelligently entertaining and more authentic?

This confronts the hyper-scriptwriter with the question of the boundary between the real and the virtual and whether hypertextualization can be considered a re-exploration of reality in the sense of Philip Roth’s experiment with his autobiography. Commenting on Roth’s autobiography “The Facts: A Novelist's Autobiography” (88), Finney writes, “His aim, he declares in the opening section of the book, is to work backwards, stripping what he had already imagined ‘so as to restore [his] experience to the original, prefictionalized factuality’ ” (Finney, 01) This restoring of experience to the original is what hyperscript has to achieve among other things. In this process, the hyper-scriptwriter moves the narrative space and places it, not under daylight, but in a blurred region between fact and fiction, between the real and the virtual, where facts are continuously fictionalized and fiction factualized. This is not an easy process, but when it is done within the Web, it immensely expands the evocative power of a hyperautobiography.

These questions and the related theoretical and practical issues have to be answered and resolved by the hyper-scriptwriter. To do so, he/she has to acquire new skills, knowledge, and the ability to manipulate digital resources and tools conventional writers are not required to master.

These questions also underline the new entertainment value of hyperautobiography; new in the sense of “qualitatively new”, since all literary products entertain (are “useful”), anyway. The hyper-scriptwriter has at his disposal the necessary resources to achieve this task. They are abundant and relatively easy to handle. These resources are expected to produce high-quality entertainment, otherwise they run the risk of being considered superfluous. The entertainment demand hyperautobiographies (and by the way all forms of content presentation on the Web) are required to produce is increasing, in correspondence with the accelerated conversion of contemporary culture from print and electronic culture to full-fledged multimedia culture.

Thus, the task of hyper-scriptwriter is complex. He/she has to unite the profession of the writer, film scriptwriter, film director in his/her person within the hypertext production process. (For an interesting discussion of the planning and organization of this process, applied on Web design, cf. Fernández-Coco, 98).

The size of potential audiences of conventional autobiographies and hyperautobiographies mark another difference between the task of the writer and the hyper-scriptwriter. At a well-promoted and highly visible website, we may assume that the average audience of a hyperautobiography is much larger than the average readership of a conventional autobiography.

Although a large global audience, a large mass of users/visitors flocking to the website, can produce multiple benefits, it also produces multiple new responsibilities and tasks for the hyper-scriptwriter:

- The hyper-scriptwriter and his displayed work are exposed to continuous critical scrutiny by users. - Feedback provided by users needs to be attended to and can not easily be neglected as the conventional correspondence authors receive from their readers. The email tool makes it easy for anyone to repeat sending comments and insist on getting information and answers. - The webmaster of a hyperautobiographical website, whether he/she is also the hyper-scriptwriter of the work or not, is converted, by the very mechanism of the website, into a “public figure” and “celebrity”, with high visibility. The resulting public image has to be cultivated. This new role of the hyper-scriptwriter has affinity with the role of film or TV actor. However, while in film and TV the work visibility and presence is timed and transitory, the work is permanently present on the Web, and can be scrutinized at any given moment, by anyone, anywhere. - Permanent updating is at the core of website maintenance and promotion. Websites that are not updated are dead sites. Here is not the place for discussing updating procedures and methods. We only want to emphasize that updating a hyperautobiographical website does not necessarily mean updating its core content. This, despite minor changes, revision and modification, remains somehow constant; we mean updating the supporting structure and peripheral resources and tools that make the website.

Writing of conventional autobiographies follows a linear pattern with a time-line as supporting structure for facts, events and thoughts. Time-line is chronological, with a start and an end. The writer may undertake excursions and deviate from the forwards running line. These deviations are limited in

scope and dimension and the writer strives always to return to the last point on the time-line he/she departed from. Essentially, this is the basic procedure the writer follows. It is safe and secure, a well-marked path.

Writing conventional autobiographic texts and hyper-scriptwriting a text to produce a hyperautobiography have one similarity: both adopt time-lines and produce core texts. Apart from this, the two procedures differ in many ways.

Time-line adopted by hyperautobiographies, though essential, is not a continuum. It consists of somehow loosely arranged points in time and serves the purpose of general orientation. Hyperwriting demands that there should be no strict linearity and continuation so that multiple spaces and levels, typical to hypertextuality, can be created, and the so-called instantaneous “jumping” and free to and fro movement between multiple points in time and event-levels is made possible. This flexibility brings writing and content reception (by the user) closer to the speed of thinking and imagination. Although this closeness and approximation is quantitatively infinitesimally small, its practical consequences are obviously very significant. Only this dynamic, multi-level, and speedy writing and editing allow the full power of imagination, perception, and cognition to unfold. Only so the hyper-scriptwriter can hope to penetrate the hard shell of past or present reality and draw nearer to its essence, and thereby produce astonishing discoveries, knowledge and truth about ourselves, the others and the world, the sole and main justification of literary production.

8. Example: Hyper-Scripting a Diary Entry

How does hyper-scriptwriting, and in general the production process of hyperautobiographies proceed under real life conditions?

The following example may shed light on at least some aspects of the process and show its complexity and enormous potential in terms of creativity.

The example is taken from “The European Diary”, an account of a trip to Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain. The Diary is still in the process of writing. After writing the core text, parts of the text will be hyper-scripted. Currently, there are no plans to hyper-script the whole diary. (Al-Ghassani, 01):

Explanatory Remarks:

1. The example consists of two parts:

A short excerpt from the entry for Friday, April 13, 2001. The full entry is three pages long. This rather eventless excerpt, limited to few paragraphs, has been intentionally selected in order to make it manageable within the limited space here.

The excerpt is followed by the hyper-script (construction and operation guide or plan). This is only a demonstration example and may be changed when the complete hyperdiary is produced.

2. Web design, development, maintenance and promotion issues have been excluded to avoid enlarging the hyper-script. They should be later included for the whole website and for each section when producing the complete hyperdiary.

3. The example shows how in hyper-scripting a text is related to other texts. As Palmer (01) states, putting an autobiography on the Web means integrating it in the Web mechanism. The autobiography becomes part of the texts on the website and on the Web at large.

4. Furthermore, the example shows that hyper-scripting, hypertextualization in general, and the reception of hypetexts require a new way of thinking, associative thinking. In Boese’s words about non-linear and associative thinking, “It involves switching your mind to another style of thinking, a random, associative style as opposed to direct linear style. In the West we have been taught not to value this kind of thinking, but most of us know how to do it. And there is a lot of bad multimedia on the market because many folks in this new field have not changed their thinking styles to fit the media.” (Boese, 96)

The European Diary / Excerpt from an entry

(Start Excerpt)

Berlin, Friday, April 13, 2001


Around midday, I went to Ostbahnhof station, bought a sandwich of rosy turkey meat and Coca Cola at a kiosk opposite to Café Tiziano. I stood there, ate and watched the stream of people. They seemed to be peaceful, not too busy, although some walked hastily to catch their trains. Faces, and more faces, diverse features and colors, Germans, some Africans, few Latinos, one skinhead, some soldiers, adolescents, men, women, well-dressed, sportive or casual, most of them young, very young - few beautiful women.

This is the metropolitan air of large cities that I love - the anonymity, unless you want to break out and talk to someone.

After I had finished the sandwich, I went to the passage around the corner. More colorful and elegant food kiosks and small restaurants. I bought a coffee at Dunkin Donuts, sat to smoke and jot down remarks in my notebook. I felt comfortable, relaxed and somehow happy.

But oh, this is not the Ostbahnhof I knew during the era of the German Democratic Republic, the GDR. The station was remodeled during the last decade of the GDR, before the Wende (turning-point, change) and the collapse of the GDR in 1989. When the Federal Republic of Germany took over the GDR and Germany was united, further changes were made to the station. Some criticize those changes because the large arches of the main southern entrance were removed and replaced by a glass wall. Anyhow, the station now is a pleasant, clean and well-illuminated place. There is a variety of shops offering almost anything one may need, from flowers, to money change, to supermarkets; impressive diversity and richness. It manifests the economic power of the country. Vagabonds, tramps, drunken men and women, people eager to express frustration to any passerby, filthy corners, despotic waiters, limited offer and capacity of the few old restaurants and kiosks - all those common scenes from the past have completely disappeared.

I see only pleasant scenes around me. But why amidst all this I miss the familiar, dull and poor old Ostbahnhof of times past, of a time before even the GDR had started remodeling the station, the Ostbahnhof of the seventies during my studies in Leipzig, my happy formative years. I used to arrive at the station or leave from it on my visits to Berlin. Then, the early eighties as I lived and worked in Berlin and was so unhappy.

Here and now, as well as in many other places in this new East Berlin I am visiting now after an absence of fifteen years, the old has disappeared almost completely.

Here and now, I remember friends who past away while still young: Reni, the mother of my son Faris. She died four years ago of sudden illness at the age of forty-eight; Hartmut, who died ten years ago in a car accident. He was not yet forty. I also miss Reni’s father, radio journalist and former prisoner of Dachau Nazi concentration camp, who died ten years ago, and her mother, who was also a journalist. She passed away still earlier. During the war, she helped to hide and protect Jewish friends from Nazi tyranny.

I wish I had Reni and Hartmut around to exchange views and ideas about what had happened here in their city. But, alas, their absence is definitive and final. I also realize that even if it were possible for them to be present, they wouldn’t seem to fit into this new landscape. Somehow - and sadly - they seem to belong only to that unrecoverable past that has faded away; as if they took away with them the past that was their identity; they took it away as they departed on their no-return journey.

So here we have the change, and most importantly, the continuity, this tremendously powerful forward movement. All things move forward. Nothing stays behind, unless it is dead. So, the cliché, “Life goes on!” And here, at Dunkin Donuts, I see the Chinese employee at the stand. He is still smiling and joking with customers as he prepares their orders.

It is still early in the afternoon. I have written enough for now. The coffee cup is empty. I feel satisfied and happy, slightly sad, but content with myself and the world.

Now, it is time to leave this place, to move on.

(End Excerpt)


The script will use the following resources (or a selection from them) to describe and construct the conversion process, step by step: text (the complete verbal text of entry excerpt), documents (text documents and scanned documents), photos and graphics, video footage, sound, animation, links.

Web design, development, maintenance and promotion indicators are excluded for reasons of space. They should be added to the script on a later date before the realization of the script.

(Start Hyper-Script)

Berlin, Friday, April 13, 2001


1st & 2nd paragraphs

Around midday I went to Ostbahnhof station (…)This is the metropolitan air of large cities that I love - the anonymity, unless you want to break out and talk to someone.

Text: the complete two paragraphs. Link-internal: webpage - mini autobiography of the author. Link-external: video footage of Ostbahnhof today, max. 10sec.

3rd paragraph

After I had finished the sandwich (…) I felt comfortable, relaxed and somehow happy.

Text: the complete above paragraph.

4th paragraph

But oh, this is not the Ostbahnhof I knew during the era of the German Democratic Republic, the GDR. (…)and all those common scenes from the past have completely disappeared.

Text: the complete above paragraph. Link-external: history of Ostbahnhof - text, photos. Link-internal: webpage - Excerpt from the book “Guten Morgen, Deutschland - Das Tagebuch der Freiheit ” (Good Morning, Germany - Diary of Freedom). Hamburg: BILD, 1989. Quote the days of November 1989, the day of the Wende. Add: commentary since the book is too biased. Sound file: trains, noise, announcer, train arrivals announced, 10sec.

5th paragraph

I see only pleasant scenes around me. But why amidst all this I miss the familiar, dull and poor old Ostbahnhof of times past, of a time before even the GDR had started remodeling the station, Ostbahnhof of the seventies during my studies in Leipzig, my happy formative years. I used to arrive at the station or leave from it on my visits to Berlin. Then, the early eighties as I lived and worked in Berlin and was so unhappy.

Text: the complete paragraph above. Highlight as link: “Leipzig”. Link-internal: existing internal section on my website, “My years in Leipzig”. Photo, published short story - Arabic-, scanned ms. of a poem from notebooks of the seventies. Slides series: “Places in Leipzig” (Prepare! Only places related to my history in Leipzig. For instance: Ring Café, main station, Rosental Park, Deutsche Bücherei, Lößnig, etc. ) Link-external: Leipzig city website Contemporary comment: Add - What does Leipzig mean to me today? Short, 10 lines, column in box.

Highlight as link: “Berlin”. Link-internal: existing internal section on my website, “My years in Berlin”. Photos: Checkpoint Charlie - in sepia. Caption should refer to Intertext, situated a few meters away from this border crossing-point, where I worked from 1981 to 1983, my difficult years in Germany.

Scan: drawings from the 1981-1983 period. Display under the general title “Towards the Light Source” Slides series: “Places in Berlin” (Prepare! Only places related to my history in Berlin. For instance: Gethsemanestrasse, my first apartment where I lived alone, Mollstrasse, where Merce, our daughter and I lived, Friedrichshain Park, where I went with my daughter for a walk, etc. Link-external: Berlin city website Contemporary comment: Add - What does Berlin mean to me today? Short, 10 lines, column in box.

6 th, 7th, 8th, & 9th paragraphs

Here and now, as well as in many other places in this new East Berlin I am visiting now after an absence of fifteen years, (…),and her mother, who was also journalist. She passed away still earlier. During the war, she helped to hide and protect Jewish friends from Nazi tyranny.

I wish I had Reni and Hartmut around (…)I also realize that even if it were possible for them to be present, they wouldn’t seem to fit into this new landscape. Somehow - and sadly - they seem to belong only to that unrecoverable past that has faded away; as if they took away with them the past that was their identity; they took it away as they departed on their no-return journey.

Text: the complete above paragraphs. Highlight as link: “Reni”, “Hartmut”. Links leads to two short autobiographies with two photos. Contemporary comments: Add - The past, as concluded social life segment, is completely excluded by the present. But the present can’t exclude all elements of the physical past except : dead humans and destroyed physical objects. Yet, dead humans continue their presence in the memory of the living only. There, in the memory, the past in its entirety is preserved until it is partially and progressively eroded by biological memory deterioration. If no physical reminder is available, or if there is no persistent effort to transfer it, as information, from generation to generation, the past, as a totality and entity, will eventually disappear. It may, however, continue to exist, as unidentifiable components in the content of human consciousness.

And, about the friends: What is the difference between a person’s presence, physically and in persona, and that person’s image and related information dwelling in memory only?

Identification: What’s for me the difference between the physical presence of Reni and Hartmut and their presence in my memory?

Photo album: include photos as follows: Photo: Moabit prison in Berlin. Photo: Dachau concentration camp. (Reni’s father was detained in Moabit before he was transferred to Dachau concentration camp.)

Deviation and Return: the documents, pale photo, ink, travel by train. Hunger and fear. Holocaust - Jewish Holocaust - Palestinian Holocaust - Rwandan All holocausts

Deviation and no Return - open-ended - Photo: Tombstone in Waldfriedhof cemetery, Berlin-Grünau. Brown color, three names under the cold and refreshing shade of the trees: Reni, her father, her mother. Karolinenhof, a Berlin suburb where they lived. No way to recover anything beyond pines and sand, “out here the air is perfumed.” Poem: Add - excerpt from the Irene Duchrow elegy, section about Karolinenhof (Al-Ghassani, A. 99)

In Buchenwald concentration camp on Ettersberg mountain, I asked the teacher while walking on “Leidensweg” (Road of Suffering) and “Blutstrasse” (Blood Street), why people who know they will be killed do not rebel against their state of suffering and misery? Answer, deleted from memory. In the camp hotel, sunny morning, kitchen women pealing potatoes. In the night, in a dream, a nightmare, SS-officers in black uniforms. The uniform I found elegant. Reni reproached me when I told her that. That was later. But it was E. beside me as I broke out of the nightmare.

Internal Link: Image - a heap of shoes and hairs. This image has no utility within memory, yet useful when externalized.

Insert: Goethe’s image of earlier excursions. G. sitting at Ettersberg. A man flying over the landscape of dead bodies. Nearby Weimar - his place for the study of optics.

Quote in Box: “So viel Anfang war noch nie” Friedrich Hölderlin, 1770-1843 (There has never been such a beginning)

Reflection: At Tränenpalast (Tears Palace), Friedrchstrasse station. In the past East Berliners could go only as far as this station. The next station, the boring and characterless Lehrter Stadtbahnhof was in West Berlin. So, the goodbyes and tears, history drama, or melodrama, now commercialized in Tränenpalast, young women display their hearts for sale. Then sit around in their glimmering armor of false silver. Sensuality of sex is being sacrificed for an invisible god who is not pious and feels no mercy for anything biological. Fly, fly, airplane!

Photo: tramps, homeless, young men and women. Men with peculiar hair styling. As if they are wearing Roman helmets. And their dogs, always present, one, two, three, four of them. They sit on the floor at Ostbahnhof station. Three policemen with red berets standby watching. The homeless seem friendly, these anti-authoritarian fellows who have freely opted to live on the margin of society, these metropolitan nomads. Reflection: The girl asked for money, “Please, don’t you have a Mark for me?” Next time, never shun them, don’t keep clear of them, don’t give heed to the friend’s advice, “Don’t give them money.” Walk boldly towards them, introduce yourself, you frustrated nomad. Praise the girl and her tribe. Thank them for maintaining their presence on the city landscape, for their daily sacrifices, hunger, thirst, frosty winds on open streets. Say that you are humbled by what they have given you, free of charge. Thank them for the love, warmth and freshness, and for all the ideas their presence has evoked in you. Learn to be thankful for the gifts of life you are receiving at every turn and corner. Then give the child that Mark she asked for from what God has given you. Yes - for you want to join them and just disappear in the big city; you yearn to be loved, to be free in the company of generous people who equally divide among themselves the little they have; you yearn to their warmth and to bodies with that distinct aroma of which you have forgotten the name, an aroma that dates to ancient times of fear and caves. If you can’t yet join your wonderful nomads back home, then consider joining these city nomads, God’s children who opted to become a moving and lively symbol: a reminder of our lost freedom.

10th, 11th & 12th paragraphs

So here we have the change, and most importantly, the continuity. (…) It is still early in the afternoon. I have written enough for now. The coffee cup is empty. I feel satisfied and happy, slightly sad, but content with myself and the world.

Now, it is time to leave this place, to move on.

Text: insert the complete paragraph without adding hyper resources.

(End Hyper-Script)


Selected Bibliography

Note: Websites and links were active when last visited. Printouts were made of cited documents. Due to updating on the Web, some websites and links may disappear, change, modify their content, or become inactive.

A. Cited or Commented Bibliography

Aarseth, Espen J. (1997): No linealidad y teoría literaria. In: Landow, George P., Compilador (1997): Teoría del hipertexto. Barcelona: Paidós.

Al-Ghassani, Anwar (1999): Irene Duchrow (Reni), 1949-1997. (Elegy, 18 pages, ms.)

Al-Ghassani, Anwar (2001): The Eurpoean Diary. (ms.) http://www.sindbads.com/eurodiary2001.html

Bajtín, Mijaíl M. (2000): Yo también soy - fragmentos sobre el otro. México: Taurus.

Banet, Miguel (1998): Consideraciones sobre los espacios virtuales. In: Cafassi, Emilio, editor (1998): Internet: políticas y comunicación. Buenos Aires: Biblos.

Barger, Jorn (2000): Online-Autobiography Theory. http://www.robotwisdom.com/web/autobio.html (Last visit: June 2001)

----------- BBC-online: Want to Get Published? Write On! Friday, March 2, 2001.

Berners-Lee, Tim (2000): Tejiendo la Red - El invertor del World Wide Web nos descubre su origen. Madrid: Siglo Veintiuno.

Birkerts, Sven (1994): The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of reading in an Electronic Age. Boston: Faber & Faber.

Boese, Christine (1996): Going Into The Woods. En: Computer-Mediated Communication, December, 1996. http://www.december.com/cmc/mag/1996/dec/boese/woods.html (Last visit: June 2001)

Boswell, James (1923): Life of Samuel Johnson. Chicago: Scott, Foresman & Co.

Castells, Alvaro (2001): Diccionario de Internet. Bilbao: Deutso.

Chandler, Daniel (1998): Personal Home Pages and the Construction of Identities on the Web. http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/short/webident.html (Last visit: June 2001)

Conrad, Rudi et al. (1981): Kleines Wörterbuch Sprachwissenschaftlicher Termini. Leipzig: VEB Bibliographisches Institut.

Daze & Quirks http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/6504/dq.html (Last visit: June 2001)

Deleuze, Gilles, Guattari, Félix (1987): A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Eckermann, Johann Peter (1982): Gespräche mit Goethe in den letzten Jahren seines Lebens. Berlin & Weimar: Aufbau-Verlag.

Edelman, Bernard, editor (1985): Dear America - Letters Home From Vietnam. New York: Pocket Books.

Fernández-Coca, Antonio (1998): Producción y diseño gráfico para la World Wide Web. Barcelona: Paidós.

Finny, Brian: Roth's Counterlife: Destabilizing The Facts. http://www.csulb.edu/~bhfinney/Roth.html (Last visit: June 2001)

------------- (1989): Guten Morgen, Deutschland - Das Tagebuch der Freiheit ” (Good Morning, Germany - Diary of Freedom). Hamburg: BILD.

Joyce, James (1946): Ulysses. New York: Random House.

Kennan, George F. (1989): Sketches From a Life. New York: Pantheon.

Landow, George P., Compilador (1997): Teoría del hipertexto. Barcelona: Paidós.

Lévy, Pierre (1999): ¿Qué es lo virtual? Barcelona: Paidós.

Morris, William, editor (1976): American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Moulthrop, Stuart (1997): Rizoma y resistencia - El hipertexto y el soñar con una nueva cultura. In: Landow, George P., Compilador (1997): Teoría del hipertexto. Barcelona: Paidós.

Neruda, Pablo (1984): Memoirs. New York: Penguin.

Newhall, Brent P.: My Diary. http://www.other-space.com/brent/what_is_diary.html (Last visit: June 2001)

Palmer, John P.: Brave New Self: Autobiographies in Cyberspace. http://cctr.umkc.edu/user/jppalmer/hps.htm (Last visit: June 2001)

Paquet, Alfons (1927): Städte, Landschaften und Ewige Bewegung. Hamburg: Gross-borstel.

Roth, Philip (1989): The Facts. A Novelist's Autobiography. New York: Viking Penguin.

Struckel, Katie (2000): Interview with Homer Hickam Jr. on Memoir Writing. In: Writer’s Digest (Cincinnati), Vol. 80, No. 12, December 2000, 30-31.

Vouillamoz, Núria (2000): Literatura e hipermedia - La irrupción de la literatura interactiva: procedentes y crítica. Barcelona/Buenos Aires/México.

Zalis, Elayne (2001): Autobiographical/ Biographical Webs: Selected Links - Ongoing. http://www.beyondwriting.com/autobio.htm (Last visit: June 2001)

B. Additional and Contextual Bibliography

Camus, Albert (1965): Notebooks 1935-1942. New York: The Modern Library.

Columbus, Christoph (1981): Schiffstagebuch. Leipzig: Reclam.

De Beauvoir, Simone (1984): All Said and Done. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Dostojewskaja, A.G. (1976): Erinnerungen. Berlin: Rütten & Loening.

Ehrenburg, Ilja (1982): Visum der Zeit. Leipzig: Verlag Philipp Reclam jun.

------------------ (1986): El oficio de escritor - entrevistas con escritores. México: Ediciones Era.

Friedman, Thomas L. (2000): The Lexus and the Olive Tree - Understanding the Globalization. New York: Anchor Books.

Hepburn, Katharine (1991): Me - Stories of My Life. New York: Ballantine.

Ivens, Joris (1969): The Camera and I. Berlin: Seven Seas Books.

Jacob, Roderick A. & Rosenbaum, Peter S. (1971): Transformations, Style, and Meaning. Waltham: Xerox College Publishing.

Jung, C.G. (1965): Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Recorded and edited by Aniela Jaffé). New York: Vintage.

Metz, Christian (1991): Film Language - A Semiotics of The Cinema. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Naisbitt, John (1999): High Tech High Touch - Technology and Our Search for Meaning (with Nana Naisbitt and Douglas Philips). New York: Broadway Books.

Pavese, Cesare (1993): El oficio de vivir 1935-1950. Buenos Aires: Seix Barral.

Said, Edward W. (2000): Out of Place - A Memoir. London: Granta.

Stone, Allucquère Roseanne (1996): Sistemas virtuales. In: Jonathan Crary and Sanford Kwinter (eds.): Incorporaciones. Madrid: Ediciones Cátedra, p. 511-532.

C. Web Sources

Autobiographies and Diaries Online (Samples)

Spikerz Diary http://www.spikerz.diaryland.com

Janette Wilson - One page autobiography as a message posted to Anthropology info and discussion list. http://www.anatomy/usyd.edu.au/danny/anthopology/anthro-l/archive (November 1994)

Novelist Beverly Connor’s Website http://www.athens.net/~bconnor/autobio.htm

Cliff Figallo’s Autobiography of Sorts http://www.well.com/user/fig/

Peter Marquis-Kyle’s personal Website http://www.powerup.com.au/~petermk/autobio.htm

Joe Waller’s Design and Autobiography Website http://www.joewallerdesign.com/htmlver/autobio.html

Bibliographical Lists Pullara, Fran (compiler): Books About Journal Keeping and Guides for Self Reflection (last updated 1-15-2000) http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/6186/bibliography.html

Electronized/hypertextualized Conventional Autobiographies

Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography http://www.earlyamerica.com/lives/franklin/index.html

Booker T. Washington: Up from Slavery: An Autobiography http://www.alcyone.com/max/lit/slavery/

Hybrid Websites

Poem with video http://www.poemsthatgo.com/gallery/fall2000/anywhere/anywhere.html

Online Diaries

- A Collection of Online Journals and Diaries: http://asia.dir.yahoo.com/Social_Science/Communications/Writing/Journals_and_Diaries/Individual_Journals_and_Diaries/Online/

Mother Millennia - Stories on the theme of mother (memoirs, graphicl narratives, fiction, oral histories, poetry, essays, video, sounds, etc.) http://www.mothermillennia.org/index.html

Online Diary Services

Dear Diary http://www.deardiary.net

Diary Land http://www.diaryland.com

Open Diary http://www.opendiary.com

Diarist http://www.diarist.net

e-Literature http://www.eliterature.org/index2.html

Personal Stories - Telling true personal stories on the Web http://www.fray.com

Online Story Writing http://www.stories.com

Oral Histories Online


Portals, Major resources

Almost all major portals offer free Web space and include a huge number of autobiographical and diarial content pages.

Memoir writing and teaching resources http://www.turningmemories.com/

Web writing Style Resources http://www.cio.com/central/style.html

Hyperizons - Hypertext Fiction http://www.duke.edu/~mshumaic/hyperfic.html

Software, Books, Magazines, Workshops

Kairos - e-zine - A journal for teachers of writing in webbed environments http://english.ttu.edu/kairos/

Workbooks http://www.autobiographyez.com/

Life Journal - Personal Journal Writing Software http://www.lifejournal.com/index.shtml

My Story - Autobiography Writing Software http://www.mystorywriter.com/home.htm

The Memory Grabber - e-book on writing autobiographies, life stories, family history. http://www.familyhistoryproducts.com

Online Journal Writing Workshop http://www.writingthejourney.com

The Write Resource (The Internet Writing Journal, live chat, message boards, job listings, Marketplace, books, etc.) http://www.writerswrite.com

Writer’s Digest Magazine http://www.writersdigest.com

Web Cemetery

Text, video, images, sound, etc. http://www.cemetery.org


Dr. Anwar Al-Ghassani, Iraqi Poet, Professor of Journalism, Computer-Mediated Communication and Internet, School of Communication Sciences, University of Costa Rica

Anwar Al-Ghassani,
Apdo 823,
2050 San Pedro M.O., Costa Rica

Tel.:(506) 234-6975, (506) 283-9773, Fax:(506) 292-7136