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Indexes as hypertext

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Digital media presents several challenges to the index, but this ignores the fact that the index has played an important role in the development of the computer. Hypertext, or links between chunks of text, is a vital concept in computation, and one which can be traced back to the index. The author explores the link between indexes and hypertext through three case studies of novels with indexes: Vladimir Nabokov's Pale fire, Mark Z. Danielewski's House of leaves and Steven Hall's The raw shark texts. This analysis reveals how indexes can be used as a subversive part of experimental fiction that authors employ to encourage the reader to move beyond superficial forms of reading.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2015-06-01

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  • The Indexer is published by the Society of Indexers on behalf of all the indexing societies, seeks to cover the full range of subjects, from articles at the cutting edge of new techniques to contributions discussing in a practical way the new tools available to indexers at all points in the technical spectrum or exploring the history of indexing. Its extensive reviews section covers both printed and electronic material, including websites and hardware and software of interest to the indexer, while 'Indexes Reviewed' highlights some of the best (and worst) examples of indexing in action. And, in 'Around the World', it keeps readers up to date with what is going on across the international indexing community. First published in 1958 on a twice-yearly basis, it moved in 2008 to a quarterly publication.
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