Literature and the Internet


course reading list


reading: design ~ reading: theory ~ links: making good web pages ~ links: theory ~ other students' coursework websites


It is possible to get by on this course without buying any books; the Web has a great deal of information about the Web, not surprisingly. I will give some Web links that will lead you to useful lists of links. But there are three books that students have found very valuable; if you buy them, you won't regret it. I leave it to you. I have linked these references to the relevant bit of for full details: see what other readers have thought of the books by reading the reviews.


reading: design

On theory and practice of design: the book I use, which is wonderfully valuable, is Robin Williams, The Non-Designer's Design Book. This book was a revelation to me, as it has been to students every year when I introduce them to it.


reading: theory

The classic academic book on the theoretical aspects of this course is Landow, Hypertext 2.0. This is the pioneering work on the relationship of hypertext to literary theory. I think you will all have to read it eventually. It is not easy going, but you will understand a great deal once you have read it.

An easier read, also much shorter and cheaper, is Snyder, Hypertext: the Electronic Labyrinth. This summarises the issues in a concise and readable way. However at the moment (June 01) it seems to be only available in hardback, which is probably too expensive.


Links: making good web pages

On the practical side of the course, for the basics of web page making try

Fundamentals of Web design

which is a critical select list of links; and the ever-valuable


For advanced usability issues, go to

Jakob Nielsen's Website

and, not to be missed, the classic:

Web pages that suck


links: theory

There are two sources for useful links.

Voice of the Shuttle, at

This is a very comprehensive and complete list of rich websites entirely devoted to the them of the course: everything you need is here. There is also

Hypertext and Hypermedia: A Select Bibliography

which has extensive collections of live links to useful material.


other students' coursework websites

And, finally, you will find a great deal of useful information about theory and practice of web page making, as well as some very nice websites, in the linked list of the Lit and the Net assessed essays for 2001. You will be producing work as good as this: maybe even better, who knows?

You will also find links to other similar courses, which usually have examples of student web-based essays, here:



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