From this rather lugubrious opening, Joyce proceeds to discuss what he characterizes as the two types of hypertext: exploratory hypertext and constructive hypertext. Exploratory hypertext, a transitional form, is usually read-only, and allows the reader to choose a path, deciding what to see and when to see it. The text does not, however, rearrange or transform itself in response to the reader's participation. By contrast, in constructive hypertext ("true electronic text") the interaction between reader and text is reciprocal; that is, the text is transformed in response to the choices the reader makes. This type of hypertext has been employed for the most part by creators of hypertext fiction. The article concludes with a discussion of hypertext fiction, which Joyce hails as the "new writing of the late age of print."
Rambling and perhaps too dismissive of the staying power of
print, this piece is nevertheless valuable for its insights from
a prominent practitioner of hypertext fiction. (Sarah
Michael Hancher Department of English, University of Minnesota URL: http://umn.edu/home/mh/ebibsw4.html Comments to: email@example.com Created 29 April 1995 Last revised 17 September 1996