Hyper text and the non-linear tradition

Essay by netrixCollege, Undergraduate March 2004

download word file, 1 pages 0.0

Downloaded 31 times

Hypertext is a special type of database, on which objects like text, pictures, music,

and videos, could be linked to each other. For example, while reading a document about

space, you might click on the phrase Mars, and this could display Mars pictures, a more

specific article about Mars or even videos about the "red planet. According to

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/H/hypertext.html , hypertext was invented by Ted

Nelson in the 1960s. He created this electronic text to give the readers more freedom

and to separate from the traditional sequence-writing. Hypertext mainly distinguish itself

from normal text because of the ability that it posses to link to other data, this ability

could be very helpful to readers because it could help them to better understand what

wants to be transmitted.

To analyze the difference between Readerly and Writerly text, there should be first

a definition for them. According to http://www.iath.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0250.html,

Readerly texts "do not locate the reader as a site of the production of meaning, but only

as the receiver of a fixed, pre-determined, reading."

In other words Readerly texts give

the reader a predetermined meaning, they limit the reader to "see the show" not to

create it. On the other hand Writerly text lets the reader participate "in the making of the

show". Writerly text gives the reader the opportunity to create a meaning out of the text

not just receive the predetermined meaning. Now it's obvious that these two types of text

are just the opposite, one gives the reader the freedom to create a meaning out of the

text, the other takes that freedom away from the reader.

The "non-linear" tradition in literature as it name says does not follow the classic

approach on which there is a beginning, a climax and then the closure. This non-linear

tradition gives the reader the freedom to read the text in the way he wants, even thought

sometimes the author suggest a how to read it. This freedom could lead the reader to

create his own meaning of the text more easily. According to

http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/elab/hfl0117.html , a good example of non-linear

narrative is Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch. This book has two approved readings . One is the

normal or traditional way to read a book, this is to read it from chapter 1 to chapter 73,

and then there is the non-linear way that is read backwards.