An introduction to the extroduction.

And a question that obviously wants to answer itself.

Before all of this was written, certain groundrules were set. This project (okay, we'll call it by it's proper name, though perhaps in its final form it bears no resemblance to the real thing - this master's thesis) had to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The middle was a known entity - three and a half years of Boidem columns - but the beginning and the end had to take shape.

Understandably, the beginning was to be an introduction in which I would outline the nature of this project and explain what about it was worth exploring and examining; what recurring themes and motives characterized the whole. In true academic fashion a review of the pertinent literature was also part of that introduction.

Almost as understandably, the ending was to be a conclusion, a summation that assumed that the reader had read the meat sandwiched between these two slices of bread, and was thus ready for the closing arguments.

It all sounded relatively simple. Until hypertext again raised its playful head. Why, after all, if I could link freely to whatever I found pertinent, should I constrain myself to introductory comments in the introduction, and summerial comments in the conclusion? In a manner more fitting to the medium, I could use the introduction as a hub from which numerous spokes radiated outward, each spoke representing the development of an idea raised there. Linearity should, not only because of poetic license but simply out of basic logic (in this case at least) defer to networking.

Ah, but this still isn't the best of all possible worlds, and certain stylistic decisions are dictated not by logic alone. Thus, this extroduction. It may, at times, seem repetitive, but it still seeks, within the boundaries predetermined by present academic standards, to wink every so often in the direction of the medium it sought to represent.

Go to: Web Essays - The evolution of a (personal?) medium