November 5, 2012

Hypertext as Genre

I found this discussion fascinating; the conception of hypertext as an reflection of preexisting idea of associational theory is truly unique. However, I feel that Landow uses a compilation of theorist's perspectives that don't necessarily discuss hypertext, but rather, any associational/multivocal text. While a variety of valid comparisons can be made between texts that have associational value and hypertext, however "hypertext...has the capacity to emphasize intertextuality in a way that page bound text in books cannot" (Landow, 35). I would really like to center more of this discussion around a conception of hypertext/hypertextual documents as its own genre. Landow presents the idea that hypertext affords new opportunities to the active reader, "an infinitely recenterable system whose provisional point of focus depends on the reader, who becomes a truly active reader in yet another sense" (Landow, 36).

I would take this conception a step further and say that hypertext reappropriates and redefines the active reader. By giving the reader a more involved role in the reading process/creation of meaning, hypertext functions in a manner different from any other genre. In my opinion, the affordances of hypertext are significant enough to consider it its own genre. However, in the ways in which it is presented, some may say hypertext falls more into the category of medium. What do you think?

1 comment:

Shawn Binder said...

It seems to me, the way you worded your argument, that hypertext is something new that has created a new form of reader. However, hypertext has always been around. I think it just calls the reader to be more invested in the idea that they will need to draw from different sources. They need to be a more savvy reader than say a reader of a non-hypertext work.

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