21W765j/21L489j (U) (12 undergraduate credits)

21L989 (G) (12 graduate credits)
Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice

Dr. Janet H. Murray


Assignment Two Group Due February 24

Read Jane Wagner's play (written for Lily Tomlin's one-woman performance), The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe. You may also want to view the video which will be available from the Film Office and in Hayden Library.


Working in groups, identify the linking objects and cues that connect the various characters, monologues and scenes together. Create a hypertext that represents some part of the story and a way to navigate through it by following a chain of narrative associations. Pick parts of the story that give the viewer/reader a reason to want to look elsewhere for more information. Use dramatic events rather than character descriptions.


Feel free to look at last year's responses to this assignment -- but do not follow them exactly. In particular, use more of the actual words of the play and do not merely diagram the characters. Pick out key events or important spoken words to link together.


Note that the assignment sheet includes an alternate text: Pavic's Dictionary of the Khasars. Another alternate would be the movies Mystery Train. (Jim Jarmusch, 1989) or Short Cuts. (Robert Altman, 1993). If you have other ideas, have them approved by me in advance.