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Week 4                            

Theodor H. Nelson coined the term ‘hypertext’ with a different emphasis to Vannevar Bush, who foresaw the technology in the 1930s with his idea of a Memex, or memory extender. (published it in his seminal 1945 article "As We May Think")

Various terms are used, hypertext, cybertext, hypermedia, multimedia, new media. Note I am using the term ‘hypertext’ in this outline for all of the above, as an encompassing term.

‘[W]hen you read from a cybertext, you are constantly reminded of inaccessible strategies and paths not taken, voices not heard. Each decision will make some parts of the text more, and others less, accessible, and you may never know the exact results of your choices; that is, exactly what you missed. This is very different from the ambiguities of a linear text. And inaccessibility, it must be noted, does not imply ambiguity but, rather, an absence of possibility - an aporia.’ Espen J. Aarseth.[i]


[i] Espen J. Aarseth, Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997, p3.

Exercise for Week 4

Bring a piece of your writing (1-2 pages), and over next few weeks we will look at each person’s work how it can use the net

Read -

Chap 1 of Hyper/text/theory / edited by George P. Landow
(Special Reserve-  not electronic!!)

George Landow, ‘What is hypertext?’ http://vp.engl.wvu.edu/landow/ht.html

New link for Michael Joyce - Nonce Upon Some Times: Rereading Hypertext Fiction www.tao.ca/~peter/athesis/hypertext/joyce97.html

{ DOWN Links}
Michael Joyce, definition of hypertext and hypermedia  http://www.iberia.vassar.edu/~mijoyce/What_s_hypertext.html (Link Down)
Landow on theory of hypertext  http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/hypertext/landow/ht/parallels.html (Link Down)

Two of you to:

Explain differences in understanding hypertext and which hypertext concepts you think may be most useful for your own writing.
Think about how you link concepts and lexia (chunks of text).
(More on chunking week 6)

AND (if you can) suggest ways different literary theories cope to varying degrees with this new technology.