First released in 2007, A Life of Recluse is still the only interactive hypertext fiction that combines literature with digital imagery, sound and music. Available now online, free for all reading enthusiasts.
Back in 2007 Najma Hush, the author of A Life of Recluse, published a story as HTML. Back then it was the first interactive hypertext fiction to combine literature with still and video imagery, including sound and music. Now, once again, six years later being released on wordpress, it still is.
A Life of Recluse is an audio, visual literary book, which has been especially created for the web and made available for all new media junkies, interested in experimental writing. Progressing as nonlinear, its narrative is composed through the medium of 78 nodes. This short and technologically speaking, quite simple hypertext fiction tells a complex and enigmatic tale about race, culture and the struggle to affirm ones personal identity.
Set in 1997, Lowestoft; Britain’s forgotten seaside town, this is a dark and disturbing story about five friends, each from different national and cultural backgrounds, who are ‘allowed to be free, yet not free to be allowed‘. To challenge the notions of individuality and personal identity, the author seeks to explore various cultural and personal constraints through the lives of each of the characters and reveal what they are prepared to risk and lose in order that they may gain their personal freedom.
Be prepared to feel slightly uncomfortable, disorientated and sometimes disturbed. But remember turn on the computer’s speakers or plug in headphones to hear the sound, as you navigate the text by clicking hyperlinks and image-maps.
“This hypertext fiction had always been created to be self published online. I wanted to share a new media, creative arts experiment, composing a unique literary form. But since having taken the HTML offline, I had always intended to re-publish the fiction at an online source where these artistic contributions, would never be lost. I hope it may be read and appreciated by many for years to come. The beauty of using self publishing tools like WordPress, means I can share my work for free, just because I believe I have something universal to communicate in a unique way and I would like people to read it.” – Najma Hussain on online self publishing tools.
Read Hypertext Fiction A Life of Recluse .