I love hypertext | Maria de Lourdes Peréz Cruz

My name is Maria de Lourdes Perez Cruz. I am a professor in the Humanities Department
of Universidad Modelo here in Mérida, Mexico. Nerina: What are your main research topics? Well, I’m interested in interactive narratives. I study the relationship between hypertext
as a narrative structure in every kind of digital media like video games, websites,
internet videos or even an app. What is actually a hypertext? Well, the hypertext is an informatics technology;
it’s the base of the web. It changes the way we read stuff. It’s a non-sequel structure which links
information with electronic hyper-wrinkles. You have all the parts of history in a big
space so you can choose the one you want in the order you want. So you’re jumping between text, or you’re jumping between image, or you’re jumping between music, a piece of audio or even a photo, in the order you want. You choose the path and you have as many
options as the author can give you, so you choose your own path. You make your personal version of the story. That’s very interesting because it’s a
very democratic way that we can make sense of the stories that other people can share with us. Why are you so passionate about it? Why is it important to know about hypertext,
in your opinion? Because it helps you to understand
how narratives work. For example, I love videogames. I think that videogames are new ways of more
complex narratives. The interesting thing is, it’s a kind of
fight between the team of the authors and you as a reader because they choose how interactive
they want to make the structure, how open or how close, how much control they’re going
to have, and how interactive for you they’re going to be. What is the freedom you have to change all
that you are seeing or all you are interacting with. The history of hypertext begins in 1945 after
the Second World War, a bunch of academic scientists; one of them was Vannevar Bush. He wrote a paper titled “As we may think”. He imagined that maybe the work of all the
academics in the world can be in one space. So the hypertext is kind of new but I think
we don’t look at that with the attention it deserves because it was a little effort
that created all the new ways on intermedia. The new way is so that we can have access
to new ways of telling stories. How do you think that these new ways of telling
stories is changing the relationship between the author and the reader or the author and
the player? I think it’s changing in a democratic way. I’d like to think that in this new kind
of interactive narratives that the author wants to challenge you to play with all that
structure, the kind of structure you can find on digital media, thanks to the hypertext. So it absolutely changes the way you now see
the author as another player that is playing with you or is giving you some pieces of information
that you can find or you can use whenever you want, and change the experience because
you are taking information he gives you. But at the end, all you are doing is reading in
your own way and making your experience with the story, a personal version of what you
want to do with that information that the author provides you. What is the most important lesson that you
have learned from your research? Well, I think it’s that
the narratives, the stories are the most human experience, and you can design them in many
ways. Stories of human kind are very few, but you
can make many versions of that, maybe seven histories of the human kind, stories of the human kind, you can make as many versions as you want, thanks to all the technological
or medium development. So I think it’s the most interesting thing
that you can create a new version of that story that has been told from the Greeks,
for example. Do you have a dream for the future? I don’t dream about the future, I have to
confess. I don’t make plans for the coming years. I live for the moment; I live each day one
by one. I try to do my best, it’s like the hyper-text
structure – I’m living this moment and I have many possibilities. I don’t know what I’m going to choose
because there are different contexts and situations. I also experience different feelings at that
very moment that can make me choose something. So I don’t make plans, I’m not good at
making plans. I just live day by day. Do you have a favorite story? Well, I have many favorite stories. I love the stories of Jorge Luis Borges. I love all his stories, as well as some of
the stories of Julio Cortazar. But I have to confess that my favorite story
is ‘100 years of solitude’ by Garcia Marquez. That was one of the big books that my father
gave me when I was a child and I really love the story of the whole family in that book. What is the most important moment in the book
for you? What kind of feeling do you remember? The interesting thing with ‘100 Years of
Solitude’ is that it’s an archetypal story from all the Latin American families. So in my personal history of my family, I
recognize some moments of fantasy of some characters that are from both sides of my
family, from my father and my mother. I think that my favorite moment of the story
is when ‘Remedios the beauty’ flies to the sky, surrounded by the blank sheets from
the house. That is my favorite part of the book. Sometimes I think that I am going to do the
same, I’m going to fly to the sky and disappear! Thank you very much. Thank you!

One Reply to “I love hypertext | Maria de Lourdes Peréz Cruz”

  1. It's a rare thing for a girl to like video games 🙂 Have you encountered some prejudices in regard to this aspect during your research?

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