November 5, 2012

Hypertext - the Destruction of the Novel

In Landow’s essay on Hypertext and Critical Theory, he broke down how hypertext is in a way showing a shift from written text in the form of books, letters, newspapers, and most forms of physical text to that of electronic and digital mediums. The complexity of the hypertext medium is destroying the old linear ideal of expression. 

Landow explains how a book is a linear form of expressing the author’s initial ideas in that a book can (should?) only be read from the first page to the last page and the ideas should be discovered by the reader in order. This order of interpretation is largely in control of the author and the author has the power to sway the reader in the direction of the author’s choosing. The difference with hypertext mediums is that the reader has the power to control how, when, and to what they expose themselves. This complexity allows for a greater understanding of the subjects in which an author may want to get across; the author has no control, however, in the order in which the reader subjects themselves. This allows the reader to have more power inside of the medium.  

When the reader is exposed to mediums such as hypertext where they are exposed to a greater play in power in the text, the reader is more apt to learn the information freely and without animosity. Many novels in the past have been cast out or looked down upon because they are too forceful in their approach. In this way, simply the new found power that the reader gains in the new medium will lead to a decline in reading physical books where there is little to no power in the readers hands. 


Angela M said...

I talked a little bit about this as well in my post. I think with hypertext, although now the reader does have more freedom and power, the reader can still be swayed according to the author of the text because the author incorporates bits and pieces of his message into every hyperlink or statement that he makes throughout the text.

gabyjoe21 said...

The hypertext allows the text to be a lot more interactive. The reader is no longer just reading the text he/she is now experiencing it and this can in turn make the text a lot more impactful depending on the objective of the author.

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