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Adaptive Hypertext  Book:  The First Flight of the Wright Brothers (In Spanish Only)
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By Juan B. Gutierrez. The First Flight of the Wright Brothers is a piece of digital narrative that has undergone two re-writing processes with two different techniques. It is essentially an experimental novel that served as a guinea pig to test authoring techniques and reader's reaction. The current version, the number 2, was built in 2006. This novel is an experiment in linear reading in electronic media. In juxtaposition, Extreme Conditions is an experimental novel designed for non-linear reading.

The adaptivity in this book is not immediately evident. Readers have only one link available on each page. If a reader returned to a previously read page, he/she would notice that the link would be different to the one displayed previously, because of the narrative optimization decided by the system. Since this book was designed for linear reading, the information system will try to push the reader towards the reading path preferred by the author. With this novel I tried to prove that fragmentation and non-linearity are NOT the essence of digital narrative.

Juan B. Gutierrez - Director. Writer and Programmer.
Creator of Literatronic and writer of the final text of the novel.

Carlos E. Herrera P. - Programmer and web designer.
He designed the user interface in version 1.

Those who are interested in digital archaeology can find the different versions here:

  • The First Flight of the Wright Brothers Version 2 - 2006: This version was the second piece of digital narrative written in the system Literatronic. It is an adaptive piece in which the information system tries to interfere at a minimum extent in the reading process. To learn about adaptive digital narrative, follow this link. This version was critiqued: From Hypertexts To Blogs: "El Primer Vuelo De Los Hermanos Wright" And "Más Respeto Que Soy Tu Madre" by Perla Sasson-Henry in Proceedings of the Congress Literatures: From Text to Hypertext, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, 2006.
  • The First Flight of the Wright Brothers Version 1 - 1997: The first version was written between 1996 and 1997. It was financed with a grant awarded by the Colombian Ministry of Culture (COLCULTURA), 1996, Area: Literature - Novel, grant COLCULTURA-SECAB 014/1996. Project "El Primer Vuelo de los Hermanos Wright.". This version has not been critiqued. This version was published for a brief period of time during 1998.

The following text was taken from the section Información General in version 1, by Juan B. Gutierrez, 1997:

«The creation process of this novel dates back to 1995, when I started my research into the possibilities of hypertext as a mean for literary creation. To understand the cultural processes of change that the new electronic paradigm exemplify has not been easy, because there are not established paths yet. We only have experimental routes. From this perspective, this is an experimental novel. This project was brought to completion because I have the firm conviction that the electronic media represents the future of literature. .

«It took several centuries to the book to find is own language. Each one of the characteristics that are so familiar today required centuries to be developed: paragraphs, serif/san-serif fonts, abbreviations, etc. In the beginning, the radio was the reading of a newspaper in front of a microphone, until it found its own language. In its beginning, television was the reading of a text in front of a microphone and a camera, until it found its own language. Likewise, digital narrative is searching its own language. It does not make much sense to write as we do in paper, if we can use images, hyperlinks, sound, animation and text.

«It is a natural question to ask then: why does this novel exploit mainly text and not other media? I believe that even though image has displaced text in this visual culture, it will never do it totally. Sentences such as "the suit I wore tomorrow", or "something the same size of a football, but a lot bigger" cannot be translated to image. Likewise, a painting by Joan Miró cannot be translated into words, and it is quite difficult to describe with words that an orange painted by Botero, a spherical shape, looks obese. The linguistic games between phonetics and meaning of the written text in Finnegans Wake can only be represented in written text. It seems like there is an area in aesthetics that is uniquely reserved to the written word.»

The entries of the Dictionary marked with a star [*], were taken from Galguisismos, Mariano Fernández. Revista Horizontes No. 102. Edición especial para Avensa. Depósito Legal pp 82-0208. Caracas, Venezuela.

The author wants to specially thank Perla Sasson-Henry for her interest in undertaking the critique of this novel; by doing so, she became the catalyst for the second version. Without her intervention, this novel would have remained in the shadows for an indeterminate period of time. Likewise, the author wants to thank her for the careful analysis she presented in the congress Congress Literatures: From Text to Hypertext, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, 2006.


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