The Shaping of Hypertextual Narrative  
  in The Integrated Media Machine: A Theoretical Framework, Univ. of Lapland, Helsinki, 2000.  
  by Sergio Cicconi  

I would like to focus here on a special kind of hypertexts: the narrative ones. Moreover, I would also like to talk about my uneasiness as reader of hypertexts; tell about the irritation I cannot avoid when I am faced with the task of reading – or rather of pretending to read – narrative hypertexts, those hypertexts people call interactive novels or short-stories.
Reading hypertexts, and narrative hypertexts in particular, is difficult; often there is no pleasure while reading, there is no understanding of what has been read. Narrative hypertexts are anonymous, cold, impersonal, chaotic, inconclusive. In short: narrative hypertexts are ugly.
I cannot avoid sharing, at least in part, these ideas on hypertextual narrative. Thus, unable to get rid of the feelings of uneasiness and irritation I feel when facing a narrative hypertext, I would like here to try to substantiate my reactions. I will, therefore, try to analyze and in part support the reasons of those –and I suspect are many – who, while accepting with enthusiasm the new technologies, are forced to admit, maybe in a low voice, the difficult digestion of the texts that have been produced with those new technologies.