November 5, 2012

Is multivocality really hypertext?

As I read through George Landlow's "Hypertext and Critical Theory," I have come to see that there are multiple sides to hypertext that give different arguments to critical theory. One that stuck out to me was hypertext and multivocality, because I never really saw multivocality as a hypertext; if anything, I thought of it more as heteroglossia. I usually think of hypertext as different types of text in a piece (pictures, images, words, interactive interfaces, etc.) rather than different texts in a text. On page 36 with Bakhtin's description of the "polyphonic literary form of the Dostoevskian novel as a hypertextual fiction in which the individual voices take the form of the lexias," this validates the point that this would make it hypertextual. I, on the other hand, saw something like Public Secrets as hypertextual because you actually have the different voices in addition to text, images, sounds, and interactivity.

The one thing that I wonder is if these are actual different voices of different people in the Dostoevskian novel? Or are they different voices made up by the author? I think this greatly makes a difference, because if it is one author with multiple voices, it is simply multivocality, not hypertext since it really is one text from one author. However, if it is multiple voices from multiple people that come together for a book, I would consider that more hypertextual.

1 comment:

Nicole Lynn said...

You make a really good point here and it is something to think about. I always though of hypertext as almost a jumble of different voices and styles of their own that make up something up that is entirely different from having one author that uses different voices. Yet I implore you to consider that even with the different voices that make up "Public Secrets," isn't it in a way a part of heteroglossia as much as hypertext? There is still one controlling voice in the terms of this text because it had to be put together by one or a few persons (considering that most books have multiple authors if you consider how much editors and others sometimes contribute) and the way they view the texts and voices in them is going to control the way in which they have us approach it.

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