The Doll Games
The Doll Games is a hypertext project that documents a complex narrative game that Shelley and Pamela Jackson used to play when they were prepubescent girls, and frames that documentation in faux-academic discourse. In “sitting uneasily between” different styles of discourse, the work enlists the reader to differentiate between authoritative knowledge and play. Although the dolls in question are “things of childhood,” the project reveals that in the games the authors used to play with these dolls, one can find the roots of both Pamela and Shelley’s “grownup” lives: Shelley’s vocation as a fiction writer, and Pamela’s as a Berkeley-trained Ph.D. in Rhetoric. Throughout, the project plays with constructions of gender and of identity. This is a “true” story that places truth of all kinds in between those ironic question marks. The Doll Games is a network novel in the sense that it uses the network to construct narratives in a particularly novel way. The Doll Games is also consciously structured as a network document, and plays in an ironic fashion with its network context.
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