Marble Springs points to the future of constructive hyperfiction." -- Harry Goldstein, Utne Reader
"a gorgeous concept, a
fictional history of 19th century women at the American frontier, told through a collection of poems, maps, historical records, drawings and gravestone transcriptions
from the ghost town of Marble Springs, Colorado." -- archaeologist Kathryn Denning, assemblage
Marble Springs, a complex and lyrical new work in the tradition of Spoon River Anthology and Winesburg, Ohio, explores the lives of the women who built the American West. Marble Springs invites the reader to explore a collection of poems discovered in the ruins of a church in an abandoned ghost town. The poems, like the lives of so many 19th century women, are anonymous, enticing the reader to discover the identity of the author hidden between the lines.
Marble Springs joins reading and writing as it invites each reader to rewrite and extend the work. Open or "constructive hypertexts" have long been considered one of the great promises of hypertext fiction and of the colonization of cyberspace, yet actually creating an open hypertext, one in which others can write and will wish to write, poses both technical and artistic challenges which Larsen has met head-on.
In Marble Springs, Deena Larsen also turns the tables on the traditions of the western. Rather than offering brief glimpses of women behind the scenes, here the lives of women are spread before the reader while men are seen only at the margins -- including the literal margins where the reader is invited to write. The changes wrought by the reader's participation expand this tale of the Wild West into an ever-evolving myth; Marble Springs becomes every family's story.
Marble Springs is exhaustively researched. Its hypertextual notes and extensive bibliographies lead the reader to explore topics from frontier religion and law to quilting and cooking.
About the author:
Read a sample of Marble Springs adapted to the web
Also by Deena Larsen:
Samplers Century Cross
Lust by Mary-kim Arnold.
Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson.
We Descend by Bill Bly.