More reviews from Jean A. Jacobson.
George P. Landow
Landow’s advice on making the leap into hypertext includes a chapter on “Reconfiguring the Text” in which he discusses the fragmentation of text into small units. (52) One of these small units is an item on a list. Do readers have assumptions about the order of these small units?
“Hypertext linking, reader control, and variation not only militate against the modes of argumentation to which we have become accustomed but have other, far more general effects,…the text appears to fragment, to atomize, into constituent elements (into lexias or blocks of text), and these reading units take on a life of their own as they become more self-contained, because they become less dependent on what comes before or after in a linear succession.” (52)
Argumentation, Organization, and Rhetoric
“…the movement from manuscript to print and then to hypertext appears one of increasing fragmentation. As long as a thematic or other culturally coherent means of ordering is available to the reader, the fragmentation of the hypertext document does not imply the kind of entropy that such fragmentation would have in the world of print. Capacities such as full-text searching, aautomatic linking, agents, and conceptual filtering potentially have the power to retain the benefits of hypertextuality while insulating the reader from the ill effects of abandoning linearity.” (57)