Monday, November 7, 2011

I may be biting off more than I can chew...

After reading Burroughs and Landow my understanding of hypertext widened somewhat, but not enough to answer all my curiosities and uncertainties relating to the subject of hypertext and its functions, advantages, disadvantages, usability, etc. After reading to compilation of many theorists in conversation (Landow) needless to say, I felt slightly overwhelmed, yet I walked away with my expansion of knowledge dominating. Burroughs short discussion of “the cut-up method” and “the fold-in method” and Landow’s argument that hypertext lacks a structured center confused me in terms of genre. In Miller’s “Genre as Social Action” the key claim was that “Genre must be centered… on the action it is used to accomplish” and that it is an accumulative effort of societies interpretation and grouping that define genres, which is difficult enough as it is (Miller 151). So when Landow states that “anyone who uses hypertext makes his or her own interests the de facto organizing principle (or center) for the investigation at the moment” it makes Miller’s claim that genre is a social action inapplicable to hypertext theory (Landow 37). Unless of course hypertext is viewed as a genre that stands alone, and does not give the reader agency in terms of critiquing the form upon which the text is derived. I am still trying to wrap my head around where exactly hypertext fits in when organizing and categorizing and its relationship with rhetoric.

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