Directions for reading We Descend


This excerpt of We Descend constitutes less than ten percent of the whole work, which runs to some 40,000 words distributed over 600 writing spaces or nodes, here represented as pages. In addition, it has been considerably modified (and in some ways improved!) for reading on the Web.

The full Storyspace version provides a multilevel map view of the hypertext structure, a feat at present beyond my capabilities with HTML. However, some sense of the structure can be gleaned by trying different navigation strategies.


On each page, three kinds of links are provided:

A text link indicates a cross reference or annotation, and will take you to a related piece of text on another page.

The path link follows a default path which will take you through most of the writings in the piece. This is the recommended choice if you are reading We Descend for the first time.

The structural links permit you to choose your own path through the writings:


As mentioned before, it is recommended that the first time you read We Descend, you follow the path links at the end of each text block. This will take you on a tour of most of the writings, in a linear but not chronological sequence. The tour ends at the Title page, from whence you can go to the Inventory, reread these Directions, take the tour again by clicking "just START," or set off on your own by clicking the arrow buttons to see what happens.

Selecting a name from the Inventory opens a brief note on that author or writing. After reading the note, click the title of the writing to go there; or click the Up or Down button to read notes on later or earlier writings. The very bottom of this "nesting" of notes opens onto the Ancients' writing "Storm and Haze," which is also the first page on the default path or tour. To join the tour, click on the bulleted path link at the end of the text block.

You can construct your own reading of the writings included here by clicking the arrow buttons. Just remember that Up (later) and Down (earlier) move you from one time "shell" to another -- it may help to think of an archaeological dig, where older artifacts are buried beneath more recent material -- while Right (next) and Left (previous) move you forward and back in a particular writing. Once you have read several pages, you can retrace and resume your steps by using the back and forward buttons on your browser, or jump to any page you have visited by choosing it from the Go menu. [top]


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