Rebooting Electronic Literature Volume 3: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media

Stuart Moulthrop's "Victory Garden"

Stuart Moulthrop's Biography

Adapted from "An Afternoon with afternoon"

Stuart Moulthrop has long been associated with the hypertext, electronic literature, and video games communities. His interest in hypertext fiction began when he received his first copies of Storyspace and afternoon, a story from Michael Joyce in 1985. His Yale PhD dissertation contains an 18-page coda on the work, which his ultimate dissertation advisor, J. Hillis Miller, called the best part of the project. In 1988 Moulthrop was part of the TINAC salon (Textuality, Intertextuality, Narrative, and Computing, or This Is Not a Conference), which allowed Joyce, John McDaid, and himself to spend many aimless hours in Nancy Kaplan's Ithaca kitchen. Other TINAC alumni include Yellowlees Douglas, Jay David Bolter, and official non-member Carolyn Guyer. Moulthrop's electronic publications include the Storyspace work Victory Garden (1991), which Robert Coover once called a "benchmark" for digital writing, plus a host of works in various web platforms, from Hegirascope (1995, 1997) to Dread Box (2020). In 2007 two of Moulthrop's efforts won international prizes prizes for electronic fiction and poetry. In 2001, Moulthrop and Kaplan founded the School of Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore, whose M.A. program briefly included Chris Klimas, who proposed the Twine digital writing platform as a thesis project in 2008. He left the program with his teachers' reluctant blessing in order to concentrate on Twine. Moulthrop moved to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010. He hosted the ELO annual conference there in 2014 and the next year, with Dene Grigar, launched the NEH-supported Pathfinders project to document the experience of early electronic literature. This led to the book Traversals: The Uses of Preservation for Early Electronic Literature, (Moulthrop and Grigar) from The MIT Press in 2017. Teaching game studies and electronic literature brought Moulthrop to the now thriving Twine world, and in 2018 he joined an ongoing research project by Anastasia Salter, leading to Twining: Critical and Creative Perspectives on the Twine Platform (Salter and Moulthrop), forthcoming from Amherst College Press. Moulthrop is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Versions of Victory Garden

✭ Version 1.0 3.5-inch floppy disks for Macintosh computers 
1.1 Dated 1991, packaged in green vinyl folio [1]
1.2 Dated 1992, packaged in gray vinyl folio
1.3 Dated 1994, packaged in cardboard folio

✭ Version 2.0 3.5-inch floppy disks for Windows computers
2.1 Dated 1991, packaged in green vinyl folio [2]
2.2 Dated 1992, packaged in gray vinyl folio
2.3 Dated 1994, packaged in cardboard folio

✭ Version 3.0 World Wide Web Sampler
3.1 Dated 1995, an excerpt for the web, consisting of 105 nodes and 500 Links [3]

✭ Version 4.0 CD-ROM for Macintosh and Windows 
4.1 Dated 2002, for Macintosh Computers running the Classic operating systems to MacOS X 10.4 [4]

✭ Version 5.0 2022 Web Edition
5.1 Dated 2022, reconstructed for the Web

Notes on the Versions

[1] Two hundred and fifty were produced; it is not clear if all were produced for the Macintosh computer or if that number represents the amount produced for each platform.
[2] For a discussion about the way in which the packaging materials do not always reflect the contents of the work, see
[3] Moulthrop reports that he built and coded the entire site himself shortly after he moved to Baltimore sometime around the fall '94 and winter '95, during the same time he was creating his Watchmen project (Moulthrop, email to Grigar, 17 August 2020). To access this version, see
[4] To date, we have unable to locate an updated version of the CD-ROM for Macintosh operating systems MacOS X 10.5 and above. It appears that the work was never upgraded despite its popularity and impact. 

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