Friday, May 25, 2007

Reading Kate

Canada 2007 004
Reading Kate’s blog made me think again about hyperlinking. Many writers, myself included, have commented on the ways in which hypertext allows for a radically new kind of literacy. But does it? Foucault conceives of text in terms of network and links. In The Archaeology of Knowledge, he points out that the "frontiers of a book are never clear-cut," because "it is caught up in a system of references to other books, other texts, other sentences: it is a node within a network . . . [a] network of references" (1989:23). Hyperlinks simultaneously provide deixis, alternative sources, rapid referencing and a kind of electronic footnoting. Hypertext offers readers multiple trajectories through the text and enables a choice in the depth of reading as well as access to other media. Although the reader has more control, more rapid access and is as a result given more authority, these choices are not in themselves new – they are differently presented, at our fingertips, embedded in the text.


Joolz said...

yes; the newtork of references. Bakhtin would say that none of this is new I suspect. He would surely say we have always used the voices of others, interwoven within our own. Sometimes we are aware of it and sometimes not.

Guy Merchant said...

yes, I like that...and of course it re-surfaces in Barthes Image, Music, Text...I spose that's the way the past pre-figures the new tech, it just shrinks the intertextual space. said...

You should take partnership farther with Kate! Exertion of control over the others may serve you good!