Thursday, February 7, 2008

Not if, but when.

As more and more of America's cultural production has moved online over the past decade, I've certainly started to read more text online — blog posts, essays, introductions, reviews, comments, news stories, election coverage, opinion/editorials, rants, tutorials — until now, it's probably at the point where I read more words off of the internet than I do out of books. Hypertext theory stands in the funny position where, conceived and developed prior to the explosion of the web, it champions a transformation of literature into hypertext that now seems quaint and out-of-touch. Literature has been one of the areas most resistant to the web. It's one of the few aspects of our culture that you cannot easily find online. But it's not a matter of if it will start to bloom on the web, it's a matter of when. Literature must always live where the readers are. How do you think that the rhetorical structures that the link provides will change literature on the web? Will it be a simple change of format and a quicker publishing schedule, like the New York Times online? Or do web narratives already exist, where links are employed in rhetorical strategies to further the literary ambitions of the text?

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