"Girl/Birth/Water/Death" by Martha Conway
She always jumped before. Or -- it was not really a jump, it was a fall really, with her arms stretched above her and her pressed-together palms praying in a triangle above her head, her head bent in between looking down, down to the water below like her mother told her, a practice is what her mother calls it, and shutting her eyes, letting her toes not spring but give the slightest lean-push off the scratchy green board and behind her eyes in darkness feeling the fall.
About the Work
This work by Martha Conway is hosted by Enterzone, which maintained and published articles quarterly online. Due to its simplicity, Girl/Birth/Water/Death was commonly used to teach hypertext theory and practice.
In order to navigate the work, the user must choose between one to four different buttons: “Girl”, “Birth”, “Water”, or “Death”. Each button is a hyperlink to a different passage of text, which (depending on the buttons clicked) tell a slightly different story with each runthrough. The first passage describes a little girl jumping from a diving board into the water below, which acts as a metaphor for the rest of the narrative.
About the Author
Martha Conway’s works have been published in a number of journals, including Massachusetts Review, Carolina Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Mississippi Review Web, and Enterzone. She won a California Arts Council Fellowship for Creative Writing in 1997. She has also authored novels such as Thieving Forest, Sugarland, 12 Bliss Street, and The Underground River.
This is the title page of the work. The passage describes the girl about to dive off of a board into the water below, which will serve as a metaphor for the rest of the narrative.
In order to traverse the work, the user will have to choose between 1 to 4 buttons: Girl, Birth, Water, and Death.
The metaphor presented at the work's start is wrapped up in the final passage.
Links to the work
"Girl/Birth/Water/Death" has been recorded in Rhizome's webrecorder. Additionally, it has been crawled by the Wayback Machine. A link to Conway's plate in The Progressive Dinner Party is also provided below.
View "Girl/Birth/Water/Death" in the Webrecorder
View the web archive link
“About the Author: Conway.” Enterzone.org. 1998, https://web.archive.org/web/19990220220119/http://ezone.org/ez/authors/conway.html. Accessed 11 July 2019.
“Disclaimer.” Enterzone.org. 1998, http://ezone.org/ez/disclaim.html. Accessed 11 July 2019.
“Hypertext Resources.” Eastgate Systems, Inc. 1999, https://www.eastgate.com/hypertext/WebHypertext.html. Accessed 11 July 2019.
"Novels.” MarthaConway.com. http://marthaconway.com/novels/. Accessed 11 July 2019.