November 4, 2012
Hypertext and Footnotes
On page 35, Landow says that hypertext is a fundamentally intertextual system that has the capacity to emphasize intertextuality in a way that page-bound books cannot. I was wondering where footnotes fit into this. Does hypertext always have to be electronically based? I'm a history major too so almost every print book I read for a research papers has tons of footnotes. I feel like footnotes are a type of print based hypertext. You can follow which ever one you want to read for more research. Landow says that also that hypertext "makes his or her own interests the de facto organizing principle (or center) for the investigation at the moment. Isn't that what people do with print resources when gather research from numerous books? Again, "all hypertext systems permit the individual reader to choose his or her own investigation and experience. What this principle means in practice is that the reader is not locked into any kind of particular organization or hierarchy" (Landow 38). However, is a reader not really not locked into any kind of particular organization? With books I think you are limited to the pages you have. If you want to look up something from a print text you usually then go online to further your research. This is why things like Ebooks and JSTOR are such necessities as they allow easier research because of the hypertext possibilities and the intertext networks they create.