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‘…hypertext has come to describe a text which provides a network of links to other texts that are “outside, above and beyond” itself. Hypertext, both as a practice and an object of study, has a dual history.’ (Lister et al. 23)
‘ For Roland Barthes, tmesis (my emphasis) is the unconstrained skipping and skimming of passages, a fragmentation of the linear text expression that is totally beyond the author’s control. Hypertext reading is in fact quite the opposite: as the reader explores the labyrinth, she cannot afford to tread lightly through the texts but must scrutinize the links and venues in order to avoid meeting the same text fragments over and over again.’
(Aarseth, 1997: 78) on Lister et al., 29.
Our attachment to older ways of cultural expression is very strong …
And one of the strongest points of resistance emerges when we become aware how much the computer itself is ‘directing’ our response to a text.
The region of cybertextuality ‘ in which the machine, the text(s) and the reader/user are all equally implicated in the production of meaning.’ (Lister et al., 29)
And so the whole way in which we have access to understanding a text becomes very complex because it depends on all the choices made possible by computer programming and our choices of reading patterns.
‘We may define a hypertext as a work which is made up from discrete units of material in which each one carries a number of pathways to other units. The work is a web of connection which the user explores using the navigational aids of the interface design. Each discrete “node” in the web has a number of entrances and exits or links.’
‘ the audience for new media becomes a “user” rather than a “viewer” of visual culture, film and TV or a “reader” of literature. In interactive multimedia texts there is a sense in which it is necessary for the user actively to intervene as well as viewing or reading in order to produce meaning.’ (Lister et al. 20-1)
The “user” is a performer – pansensual interpreter of a work, chooser of what to hear or see next and in what order
Tzvetan Todorov suggested that conventional narratives are structured in five stages:
1. a state of equilibrium at the outset; 2. a disruption of the equilibrium by some action; 3. a recognition that there has been a disruption; 4. an attempt to repair the disruption; 5. a reinstatement of equilibrium