Reviews & criticism of my work

Dene Grigar & Mariusz Pisarski, "The Challenges of Born-Digital Fiction"

In both a monograph from Cambridge U Press and a multimedia online book, scholars Grigar and Pisarski analyze the "migration and translation" that Grigar's team led of my hypertext novel "Figurski at Findhorn on Acid," in the context of other seminal e-lit works and an exploration of "activities, approaches, and strategies underlying the preservation of born-digital literature."

"Putting the Pig Back Together Again: Dis(re)connection in 'Figurski at Findhorn on Acid'"

"The pigs become a metaphor for the novel—like the hypertext, they both have exactly 147 parts, parts which the characters disassemble and then must try to reassemble in the end when they finally come together 'all on the same page.' Likewise, the experience of reading the novel involves a constant (re)assembling of its disparate elements into scenes, as the reader traverses hypertext links and chooses navigational paths. . . "

Dene Grigar, "The Ethics of Digital Preservation: Obligation to Future Generations"

In "When We Are No More," Abby Smith Rumsey argues that culture is a “a collective form of memory” and that memory impacts not only the survival of a species but of that species’ culture. Richard Holeton’s hypertext novel "Figurski at Findhorn on Acid," and Caitlin Fisher’s Flash net art narrative "These Waves of Girls," constitute two recent works the [Electronic Literature Lab] has saved within the parameters of Rumsey's ethic.
Holly Slocum, Electronic Literature Lab, and Tyler Brumfield
Mechanical Pig

"Someone, Somewhere, with Something: The Origins of Figurski"

In 1995, I wrote a 500-word flash fiction about Theodore Streleski, a real-life, perennial Stanford graduate student who notoriously bludgeoned to death his faculty advisor with a hammer in the 1970s. "Streleski at Findhorn on Acid," which imagined Streleski visiting the New Age intentional community of Findhorn, Scotland, while high on LSD, won First Prize in Grain Magazine's 1995 "Short Grain Postcard Story" contest.
Electronic Literature Lab
Figurski Beach Ball

Michael Tratner, "The Distinctive Quality of Holeton's Hypertext Fiction"

The wonder of this hypertext is that it rigidly sticks to an extremely complicated, even tortured, organization (in which every possible arrangement of three characters, three objects and three places occurs) and yet it is a good read — whether you mechanically follow the default route or flip around randomly, you can zip through and enjoy the pages.

Dene Grigar, "A Man and His Shoes: Complexity and Satire in Richard Holeton's Figurski at Findhorn on Acid"

Along with its satirical treatment of contemporary culture, a hallmark of the novel is its structure: It is a massive work of 147 text spaces built around clearly-defined combinations of three characters, locations, and artifacts, with an additional 147 Notes help to further contextualize the narrative for readers, and 2001 links connecting spaces and Notes together.

Chelsea Miya, "Figurski at Findhorn on Acid"

The story follows the main character Frank Figurski’s quest to acquire a legendary mechanical pig. The encyclopedic form of the novel satirizes academic language and research culture. The scenes alternate between various genre styles, both fictional and non-fictional, including: poetry, dramatic dialogue, and email exchanges. Holeton appears especially fond of pedagogical rhetoric and both invites and pokes fun at practices of scholarly inquiry.

Davin Heckman, "Jailbreaking the Global Mnemotechnical System: Electropoetics as Resistance"

This paper [explores] subversive practices of electronic literature as contexts for the experience of agency within various systems of control [t]hrough close readings of covert communication practices in prison narratives alongside the works like Rob Wittig’s Netprovs, Richard Holeton’s slideshow narratives, Nick Montfort’s !#, and Darius Kazemi’s “Tiny Subversions.”

Davin Heckman, "Grasping at Loose Bindings: Thoughts on Language, Literature, Communication in a Time of Change"

University of Bergen (Norway) Fulbright Scholar lecture in Digital Culture by Davin Heckman exploring "the objective tendency of neoliberalism and the digital revolution, and the humanistic potential of emerging literary and critical practices" including "Grace, Wit, and Charm" by Rob Wittig and "Custom Orthotics Changed My Life" by Richard Holeton.
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