November 5, 2012

Hypertext as a Genre

Taking into consideration what we've discussed in past readings as well as from Landow's piece about what a hypertext is, I've concluded that I personally cannot define a hypertext as its own genre. In fact it is a collection of genres connect through a technological vehicle. The structures are limitless in such a medium. The network of materials would don't have to follow a theme also contradict each other in genre types and therefore the problems we visited last week when looking at the chart of genres and their limits. We will constantly run into obstacles when using mediums as genres, in this case, the authorship and readership are further apart than ever, because any given piece will express what an author wants to relay but the manners of following/reading are unique and hardly concrete in a hypertextual situations.

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).

meta: cool. cool, cool, cool.

I think the idea of metapictures is a curious one. The idea of having pictures within pictures seems vague but as we were discussing Las Meninas, I thought it was interesting how my group saw so many different interpretations of the picture. While we originally thought the painter was the main painter in the image and not the man in the doorway, it was interesting how many variations of the image we saw which is, ultimately, what metapictures are.

Another one of the blogs was talking about multistability and claimed that they're pictures nestled within pictures and how you can't have one without the other. Then another blog was discussing how the main point of meta was not just self-realization but also the fact that they're open into audience interpretation. Which was the whole point of Las Meninas - there are so many ways to interpret the image because of the elements of mystery to it. What was he painting? Who is the focus of the image?

What is in a Metapicture?

What is the ultimate goal of a metapicture? Is the image within the image created to disrupt the genre? If so, who gives meaning to the 
disruptive image, us as viewers or the artist themselves? The La Meninas painting prompted me to ask these questions. Why would the artist include himself in the picture? If we look at the definition of a Metapicture in a surface manner we would assume that the artist has placed himself in the image only to disrupt the image. But when we take a deeper look at exactly what makes a Metapicture,  it would appear that the artist did this in order to make a cultural statement about traditional art and how we view it.  It is Mitchell's statement that  “The metapicture is a piece of moveable cultural apparatus, one which may serve a marginal role as illustrative device or a central role as a kind of summary image…encapsulates a whole episteme, a theory of knowledge.” ( Mitchell 49) that leads me to this conclusion.  

Metapictures are created in order to bring light to an episteme. 

Hypertext, hyper learning

I found this article to be a very interesting look at hypertext. While I was already aware that hypertext and the Internet allow for a much broader knowledge base and more interactive reading experience, I found it interesting that Landow pointed out that hypertext allows readers to pick their own "center", or purpose/meaning for reading a text or set of texts. Countless times I have been researching on the web for a paper topic, only to find myself on a different web page learning about a similar topic but different opinion than my original idea. Many times this has resulted in me shifting my center and writing a different paper altogether. While this can also happen through flipping through books in the library, the Internet allows for it to happen easier and quicker.


Since hypertext refers to writing that is non-sequential. It is a body of written or pictorial material interconnected in such a complex way that it could not conveniently be presented or represented on paper. The introduction of hypertext essentially is the culprit behind the end of linear writing, according to Derrida, will cause the end of the book (47). With that being said, Landlow understood that the culture is changing and with that change the definition of certain things change with it. Landlow talks about the importance of the printed word, but since we live in a world where technology is everything, printed works are somewhat becoming obsolete. Though printed works are still common in today's culture, electronic substitutes are becoming more prevalent, but these substitutes like e-books are still held within the same realm as printed material. Printed works of before guided the reader through a strict process of interpreting information, but the introduction of hypertext allows that reader to choose their own center of investigation which allows them to interpret information their own way. Hypertext will eventually become the norm since our culture is constantly advancing, but it is important to know without the printed word we would never be able to advance embrace and adapt to hypertext.

The Post Without A Title

Intertextuality - The condition of interconnectedness among texts, or the concept that any text is an amalgam of others, either because it exhibits signs of influence or because its language inevitably contains common points of reference with other texts through such things as allusion, quotation, genre, style, and even revisions.

Intertextuality is probably one of my favorite words that we've studied throughout the semester. The more this word comes up the more I think about all the things I've experienced that have exemplified intertextuality; whether it be books, paintings, or films. The question is, what exactly is the point? Why engage in intertextuality? Well, I think it's rather simple.

It provides us with a sense of progression.

Hypertext, digital and print media.

Landow writes that “Derrida and other critical theorists […] describe the new economy of reading and writing with electronic virtual, rather than physical, forms. Derrida properly recognizes […] that a new, freer, richer form of text, one truer to our potential experience […] depends upon discrete reading units” (33).

I find it interesting that Landow places so much emphasis on digital formats. Throughout the essay it seems to me that for Landow, the most important aspect of hypertext (in digital form) is its ability to reach the audience in a natural way. Because hypertext is nonlinear, it “permits the individual reader to choose his or her own center of investigation and experience” (38). In print, hypertext seems to be limited in that it draws the reader’s attention to certain material without allowing them to access it directly.

Hypertext- Making the world a smaller place

Landow’s hypertext and critical theory passage was attention grabbing due to the fact that I had never thought of hypertext in that fashion. To me whenever I had heard the word hypertext I had always thought a clickable link on a webpage that would take the user to another point in the web, nothing more nothing less. Landow explores that hypertext has the implications of giving readers direct, simple contact to a digital library of sources as well as unparalleled jurisdiction of what and how they read. So it could be said then that hypertext is a non-linear way to present information, couldn’t it? Hypertext is what makes up the foundations of the digital world, being able to clink a link and being transported to another direct source of knowledge and information. Thinking of it as a vast digital cyber-spider web helped, and one is able to visualize the capability of Internet linking.  

The Book as Hierarchy, Hypertext as Anarchy.

While reading Landow's Hypertext, I found myself focusing most prominently on the multidimensional relationships between the book and hierarchy, hypertext and anarchy, and the radical analogy that can be drawn between the two. Through this scope, text forms can be seen as microcosms of societal structures. A Marxist lens facilitates this approach as the analogous relationships are compared. I will continue to apply this lens to my unpacking of this concept. By understanding that the conditions and constraints of textual mediums (specifically, the book and hypertext) are based on their fundamental constructs, and the impact this has on the way information is received and interpreted, we can also understand the conditions and constraints of hierarchical and consensus-based anarchist societies and the impact they have on information processing in much the same way.


I want to continue our discussion in class Friday in my blog post. We were discussing what exactly a multistable image is. I decided to just start back at the beginning of Mitchell's article and comb through in it she address multistable images. Mitchell describes multistable images primary function as the ability "to illustrate the co-existence of contrary or simply different readings in the single image" (Mitchell 45). The "My Wife or My Mother-in-law" and the "Duck-Rabbit" images both act as multistable images. Mitchell goes on to say that "multistable images are not metapictures in the formally explicit way... they display the phenomenon of 'nesting,' presenting one image concealed inside another image, but, like the Steinberg, they tend to make the boundary between first- and second-order representation ambiguous" (Mitchell 48). The key to multistabilty is self-reference, but what exactly does that mean?


I wanted to continue blogging about meta because I feel that I am really starting to grasp it on a new level. In the course of my readings for my independent study I came upon a term that the authors Bohm and Pfister use in their paper "Antinomies of Environmental Risk Perception: Cognitive Structure and Evaluation." What they used as a vital part in communication for recognizing and resolving antinomies (antinomies being defined as two or more logically contradicting propositions within a theoretical system where each proposition is valid or true in it's own right) was the term Meta-Communication. As we were in the middle of discussing Mitchell's "Metapictures" I found it really relevant and actually looked up the term meta. What I learned is that in English we have taken this Greek suffix to mean "about something." Thus when we put it in from of pictures it is "pictures about pictures," just as Mitchell makes a point to say many times in his essay, and in my readings of Bohm and Pfister they too say the same thing about Meta-communication, calling it “communication about the process and content of communication itself.” 

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.

Las Meninas the Ultimate Metapicture

I figured my post this week could pertain to Mitchell’s metapictures since our group wasn’t able to fully present our thoughts. We were assigned the Las Meninas image and were approaching the question of how this painting was an example of the ultimate metapicture. First of all we are presented with an unclear subject matter, we don’t know what in this painting our eye is supposed to be drawn to. Is it the princess and her courtiers? The painter? The people in the mirror? Or is it Velazquez himself in the background? On top of that this promotes an unstable vantage point / role of the audience or viewer of the image. Are we walking into a scene that we weren’t supposed to see? Perhaps we are the subjects depicted in the mirror? Or we could be the subjects that the artist is painting on his canvas.

Our Hypertext World

Prior to taking this course I always associated a hypertext in the context of its essay form. In that form a hypertext is essentially a piece that refers to other pieces in the form of web links. The class I have learned that the term hypertext is not limited to a piece such as an essay. It is generally used to describe something that references other things in general. This can transcend to everything that we encounter in our every day life.

Landow Hypertext: A blessing or a beast?

While expecting to hear another theorist just rant about the cons of new age media and the effect its having on the text of old, Landow gives an interesting insight into the definition and usage of a hypertext. I had no personal thoughts into hypertext before reading this piece. I'm used to the term but just throw it out as a computer term, never pondering the actual literary concepts. Now i know hypertext is a a intertextual system that in essence extends the boundaries of text thanks to its digital advantages. I took a minute to think about the term accentuate. Exactly how does this accentuate intertexuality in a way that a non-hypertext couldn't? What makes a hypertext better than a footnote? In essence, he argues for the fact that it creates a web of texts that a reader can sort through to create their own meaning.

Our Ever Changing Landscape

As we knew from the title “hypertext and critical theory” we knew that above all else Lanlow was going to show the relations of texts that could be reached using a computer. Hypertext according to Lanlow on page 36 is, "composed of bodies of linked texts that have no primary axis of organization". In this day and age I find myself losing a grasp on the basic forms of text which conceptualize in prior books. The immediacy of a computer allows one to instantly access more information in littler time and may be the end to paperback entirely. Lanlow points out this shift to online media and how we are currently living in a digital age of rapid expansion.

Better Than Never

While reading Lanlow I realized that I need to delete the line that separates scholarly understanding and life realizations. It is true, that by now, I understand what hypertext is and its functionality in today’s world and my life. While reading I found the content a bit repetitive until I realized I have not been applying this to my life, just to my homework. This reading came at a great time because I now am preparing for a business interview trip and have to update my resume, etc. I wonder why I don’t consider applying these findings (of being more engaging with my audience) to my real life. Not only are people more open to hypertext now, but it is becoming increasingly necessary for effective communication. It breaks the boundaries of the four corners of the page and makes the methods of communication endless.

Actively associating

Just last week we read part of Landow's article in my "What is a text?" class but it was accompanied by reading Kimberly Amaral's online essay "Hypertext and Writing" and ever since then I've been trying to wrap my head around these ideas. In Amaral's article she discusses how hypertext could be seen as working like a the brain does. She said we work through a non sequential way; i.e we work through associations. An example would be right now, in order to understand hypertext I had to connect it through associations I already had like Google or Facebook where links all the are literally hypertext.

The shift

In our reading it was good to see how Lanlow made a shift in mediums form what was once used mediums, like newspapers, to online mediums, like blogs. I felt like I could be more engaged in the reading since in a way it is now involving me and my future. I'm sure it's the same with many of you (since most of us are EWM majors). This only means that we have to be more accepting of hypertext since it is becoming a more apparent thing on our lives. "Composed bodies of linked text..." (as Landlow describes it) We do this everyday. We do this with our blogs, facebook, emails, and the list can go on. Those are just basic everyday uses. Imagine what can be created or what has been created. Can we exceed to something alomst unimaginable? According to Landlow's text our possiblities can expand and it seems like something to take advantage of.

Heteroglossia and Multi-Stable Images

I trust that this blog post will probably not make any sense and will only serve to expose me as not fully grasping any of the content that I will talk about for the next 500 words or so. With that being said let's begin.

While we were reading Mitchell's piece on Metapictures, for some reason the concept or topic that stuck in my brain was the image of the duck-rabbit. I kept thinking about it long after class time and I was hoping of trying to articulate my thoughts on the phenomenon. It has been discussed in our lecture that it can be classified as a multi-stable image, which can be roughly defined as image that can be interpreted as two things depending on the way you look at it. However, you almost have to force your eyes to see it and you can see only one of the interpretations at a time, but once you see each of the two separately that then changes your perception of the image as a whole.

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.  

The decentralization of hypertext

It became aware to me quite early on in reading this article that the conventions that are used to describe hypertext are largely reflective of those used by Derrida and Locke to expain how we build an understanding of the form and function of language as a process of learning by association, and how we build our methods of based upon a system of association. I drew this comparison largely from how hevily the deconstruction theory of Derrida in his critically philosophical analysis of written text to emphasize how the conventions of hypertextuality are based upon the practice of netoworking through a web of common association. However, the element of hypertextuality which struck me as most profound was the ability of the networks and conventions of which compose the associations of hypertext in essence provide the absolute freedom from the structures of literary form in order for the reader to form impressions of a body of work free from the epistemological constraints imposed upon the contemporary classification of genres.

Intentional Fallacy

This week my discussion leading word did not exactly get explained like I wish it would, so I decided to dedicate this weekly discussion blog post to my word, intentional fallacy. The Bedford Glossary defines intentional fallacy to refer to the practice of basing interpretations of the expressed or implied intentions of authors, a practice they judged to be erroneous. Wimsatt and Beardsley argued that, "the design or intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard for judging the success of a work of literary art." In literary criticism, addresses the assumption that the meaning intended by the author of a literary work. Basing an assessment of a work on the author's intention rather than on one's response to the actual work.

Baby Talk:8.

Citational grafting belongs to the structure of every mark, spoken and written, in which each mark sprouts contextualization, connotation, horizontally and vertically throughout semiolinguistic fertilization (Landrow 33). Every sign, linguistic or referential, breaks every given semblance, engendering.. populating an infinity of new context in a manner which is absolutely limitless. When language is cited, quotation marks, brackets, parentheses affect by giving context voice speaking the dilemma of the thinker who sees the effect and wishing to blossom on the "mentalite". This process prompts gestation by way of the thinker disseminating, pollenating, through cited implantation (34). 

Can't Forget the Book

After reading Landlow's Hypertext and Critical Theory, one particular quote stood out to me the most. One must recognize "...the enormous power of the book, for only after we have made ourselves conscious of the ways it has informed our lives can we seek to pry ourselves from some of its limitations" (47).

What I liked about this reading was how Landlow recognized the cultural shift toward hypertext and online media, but still acknowledged the importance of the printed word. There is no denying that we live in a technologically driven society, so it only makes sense that hypertext is becoming the norm. Landlow defines hypertext as "composed of bodies of linked texts that have no primary axis of organization" (36). All hypertext systems allow the reader to choose their own center of investigation based on individual memories or experiences. 

Killingsworth Round 2

I posted this last Monday, I guess I did this blog a little early. I think it is applicable to class discussion and the way we understand text/uality as they are so common. So, here it is again; Killingsworth Round 2.

I thought the explanation of metaphors was really interesting. Mostly because we use them all the time but people frequently mislabel things as metaphors when really it's a simple comparison, or an analogy, or a simile. Comparisons, or analogies, are literally just that - things that are being compared. And the general rule for similes is that they use like or as in their language to know positively that it is a simile. 


 Why is it that the experience of hypertext, or for us to understand hypertext we have to describe it in terms of it's devices? Does this reveal that hypertext has no real definition? Does this show the false base we have created for what is a hypertext and how we have decided to use it and apply it to our new modern day lives?

    The concept of hypertext is so prevalent in our lives in today's literature world i wonder what would happen if hypertext was eliminated or if the we found a concrete definition, without using devices?

   All i could think about reading this article about hypertext i couldn't help think about my WEPO and What is a Text Seminor and how we had to decode computer texts.

November 4, 2012

The Future of Hypertext and Print in our Evolving Technological Future

The main thing about Landow's Hypertext and Critical Theory that jumps out at me is the huge paradigm between hypertext and print media.  Throughout the essay, books and print were connected with linear and hierarchical writing while hypertext was presented as a new interactive way of thinking, composing, and reading. Through Derrida, Landow seemed to be advocating the end of print media.

"'The end of linear writing,' Derrida declares, 'is indeed the end of the book,' even if, he continues, 'it is within the form of a book that the new writings -- literary or theoretical -- allow themselves to be, for better or for worse, encased.'" (Landow 47)

Why use Hypertext?

While reading Landow’s “Hypertext and Critical Theory” it brought me back to what I learned in my What is a Text class. We discussed much about Hypertext Specifically in consideration with HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language). Hypertext defined in our reading from “Hypertext and Critical Theory” states that Hypertext, a fundamental intertextual system has the capacity to emphasize intertextuality in a way that page limited books cannot. Kimberly Amaral another theorist who talks about hypertext explains that hypertext is “simply a non-linear way of presenting information” or a “Non-sequential writing.”

What is hypertext?

When Landow begins to discuss the benefits of hypertext on page thirty six he gives his opinion that the use of hypertext through HyperCard would not turn a person away from using things such as books. Hypertext is just an additional tool that will be available to the users. I think I have to disagree with him on this point. Maybe for the users who are loyal and dedicated to paperback books this statement may be true, but the more modern approach is Internet is faster and more accessible. People of today’s generation are growing up and handed IPads for their birthdays instead of literary books. When I am using hypertext to me that is enough say I want to read Shakespeare I will use the hypertext No Fear Shakespeare and be done. The site has combined the actual text in addition to film snippets and more useful things. So at least for me I see no reason to refer back to the paperback version of the play, and as a result makes this and other literary books obsolete.

The Hypericon and Appeal

What makes a hypericon a hyper icon?

To put it bluntly, the main qualifying characteristic of these multi-stable images is their promiscuity; their ability and willingness to get down on all literary fours to satisfy the needs of the literary user. For Derrida it would have been, "icon" and for McCloud, the hypericon would have endangered his 3 main categories of icon, possibly belonging to the realms of ideas/philosophy, practicality, and physical representation(McCloud 27) . Using the "Dabbit" (duck-rabbit) as an example, it practically shatters those boundaries, for looking at the image not only calls attention to its "more iconic" physical representations (as both duck and rabbit) but its various philosophical, psychological, contextual relationships that actually make up the hypericons meaning as a singular, multi-stable image.

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.

Hypertext and the Modern Media

After reading this week’s article on hypertext and taking into account the subject of Monday’s documentary, I decided to look into the term and how hypertext functions in today’s society. Hypertext is defined as text that can be displayed on a computer or other electronic devices with links to other texts that the reader can access, usually by clicking on it or pressing a key on the keyboard. The prefix hyper- (from the Greek prefix for "super") signifies the overcoming of the old linear constraints of written text. By far, the most pervading use of hypertext is that of the internet. For those of us who were born in the 90’s or late 80’s, a hypertextual internet is something we grew up using. It wasn’t a language we had to learn as older generations did, but something that had been a part of our lives since we were born, and therefore profoundly influenced how we communicated and received information. It became a natural extension of our way of life and communication.

Richter Vs. Mitchell

Richter discusses how Booth was concerned with “implied audiences (Richter 64),” in which “the author makes texts that will engage or persuade their audiences (Richter 964).” In the case of Mitchell’s metapictures, the artist can be seen as the author and they try to engage readers toward noticing that it is a picture about pictures. Metapictures are also a way for the artist to frame what they want the audience to see. It is forcing them to only view the picture the way the artist wants them too, which is how the pictures are “self- referential meaning they are a uniting theme for accounts of modern art that might seem, at first glance, to be radically opposed (Mitchell 36).” I feel that Richter and Mitchell have similar ideas when it comes to “the audience playing a vitally important role in shaping the literary experience and the desire to help to explain that role (Richter 962).” The audiences role is important because they are responsible for "decoding the symbols on the page (Rihter 965)" and that will create their literary experience. Decoding the symbols depedns on the readers interpretation. Mithell would describe this “as fact, we do not look at the scene of the drawing, but imagine the activity of the artist (Mitchell 40).” Looking at the scene is the way the reader sees the frame placed by the artist, which allows them to interpret the text or the picture themselves.


Admittedly, I found some of the theory this week to be a bit dense and difficult to work through. Nonetheless, I still found the Metapictures piece interesting to reflect upon, particularly the pictures it focused on, such as Saul Steinberg's The Spiral. I'm intrigued by the idea that an image can be a sort of second-order commentary upon itself without recourse to language or any other non-pictoral discourse. The Spiral certainly does seem to meet this description. Very shortly after seeing it for the first time I felt as if this work was trying to say something about it's own nature, though I wasn't entirely certain as to what. The analysis offered within the text interpreted it as a sort of two-way timeline in which the countryside on the exterior or the man in the interior is the genesis of the scene. This was roughly tantamount to my own reading, though I found myself asking what the piece would be saying (or we would interpret it as saying) about itself according to either interpretation, though I couldn't come to any one conclusion even on the basis of two perspectives. Unlike the "dialectical images," the spiral is perhaps unique in the sense that it can be read as a unity whereas the other images must be read in a necessarily conflicting fashion.

On Interpretation

Last weeks discussion of interpretation of an image brought up several different ways to view and understand images and images within images. The meta-picture was discussed as a picture within a picture, and I even made the connection that the meta-picture within the picture was contingent on the original picture in the same way that the irony of something is contingent on the first statement being made/heard before the second statement. However, examining the double pictures (duck-rabbit, double cross, my wife and my mother in law) made me really think about this concept in a different way. I can see both pictures in all of these pictures, but I can only see one at a time, and - of much more importance - I always see the same thing first. I have an immediate reaction of a rabbit when I first view the picture, and then have to show myself the duck through my own trained eye. The same goes with the double cross (I see the black) and the woman (I see the wife).

It actually reminds me of the professor/author/philosopher Jonathan Haidt, who made the claim that we have an instant reaction, and then make up reasons to support/explain our gut reaction after it happens. When applying this to text, do we have an instant interpretation of the text that we just assume to be what the text actually means?

Organization Station

"Hypertext, in other words, provides an infinitely recenterable system who provisional point of focus depends upon the reader, who become a truly active reader in yet another sense. One of the fundamental characterists of hypertext is that is composed of bodies of linked texts that have no primary axis of organization." (36)

When I was younger, I was always that organization leads to a fully functional life however as I grew older, I became a fan of organized chaos so to speak. From the inside looking out, I could probably never explain it however from the outside looking in, someone else could never understand it. Regardless, this is what came to mind while I was reading George Landow's "Hypertext and Critical Theory." The paragraph quoted above really did not settle to well with me. While I live a hectic life, I feel that novels, books and article (especailly educational ones) have a set organization to them and when that organization gets thrown out the window, it is confusing. Yet above, Landow explains that hypertext does not really seem to have a set form or "axis of organization."

Images inside Images

I don't really know how I feel yet about this essay. I am still trying to digest it. All of these essays this semester have sort of blown my mind and really just made me have so many thoughts and have brought in so much new information, I feel like I have a lifetime of thinking to do to work these things out in my mind. I am a thinker. I will toy with these thoughts for the rest of my life. It's not a bad thing. I am excited about it. I love food for thought.

One thing that stood out to me about the double picture photos was the idea that you could not see both images at one time. I thought about the mother in law and the duck rabbit. Some of my friends, when shown the images, could not see one and could only see the other. I, on the other hand have always been able to see both. I'm not sure if I see them at the same time, but I feel like It's possible and I may. But maybe it's switching within a split second in my mind without me noticing and never really seeing both images at the exact same time?

Hypertext similar to Genre?

On page 35 towards the bottom, Landow makes a distinction between explicit and implicit hypertext. Explicit, he claims, is unintrusive and lets the reader make educated perceptions based on what is not said. Do you think this is just another way of saying that this is intertexuality? Is there really a distinction between forms of hypertext, or is hypertext all the same, and these theorists are just nit-picking and looking for things to pull apart?

Who are you writing to?

In Richter’s background on Reader Response Theory, he argues that the true meaning of a written work is formed in the mind of the reader as a response to the author’s written work. While this seems kind of obvious, it is actually kind of mind-blowing. Especially if you’re a writer. If one subscribes to this theory, you can never be sure that what you write will land the way you want it to with anyone, which is a daunting thought. Every writer has felt this. If you’ve ever said, “That didn’t go over the way I thought it would,” even if it isn’t in terms of something you wrote on paper for someone to read, you know that this is true. So then the dilemma is this: Do you try to be so good at writing that every reader responds close to what you wanted, or do you accept that everyone will react differently and just hope that there will be an audience with whom it really sticks? I think the best way to go is the second. It means you can write what you want, how you want to write it. It gives you the freedom to write to the hypothetical audience who loves the same things you love. And that kind of reaction would be so much more rewarding.

What is a metapicture?

     “Any picture that is used to reflect on the nature of pictures is a metapicture.” (pg.57) I'm curious to know how much of Mitchell's theory is completely accurate. To know if a picture is a metapicture, we need to know what self reference is. “If self-reference is elicited by the multistable image, then it has as much to do with the self of the observer as with the metapicture itself. We might think of the multistable image as a device for educing self-knowledge.” (pg.48)

     Is self-reference something people want to achieve? To be more specific in my reasoning, is it something people want to achieve this day and age? To me, it seems like we live in a society that hides behind computers and text messages. Do we really want a picture of a picture to tell us things about ourselves that we didn't know? It's that moment where honesty comes to play.

Visual Culture (part 1)

We live in a visual world. More specifically, we live in a "world of images." Mitchell paraphrases Derrida when he says we live in "a world in which [...] there is nothing outside the picture" (41) Is this the truth? Is our world now brought into existence, not just represented by like we see in postcards, by "picture making"? This is not a completely foreign concept. Irit Rogoff, a rhetorical theorist who studies visual rhetoric in a more digital world, would attest to Mitchell's notion. Rogoff believes in images their is a centrality of vision and how images in a more visual world help to produce meanings for their observers, as well as their creators, help to establish and maintain aesthetic values, maintain gender stereotypes, and the power relations within a culture. Rogoff brings the idea of "spectatorship" into the forefront, or the active engaging with images that directly or indirectly affect the psyche. In relation to Derrida's diffĂ©rance, Rogoff was unable to reveal the freedom of the signifier, a way to understand meaning in relation to images and spaces that are not necessarily perceived by operation in direct, casual, or epistemic relation to their context or to one another.