Kelly Maudslien. English 111, Cyberspace, VR, and Critical Theory, 1998

Parataxis, the juxtaposition of two elements or clauses without a conjunction, is characteristic of both hypertext and Old English poetry. Printed text can also contain parataxis by the use of semicolons; sentences with two main clauses sutured together are actually common in writing. However, writing tends to flow in a more connected way when writers use conjunctions such as "however, "and, "moreover", etc. Moreover, the logical sequence demanded of linearity becomes much clearer with the use of such conjunctions.

In cyberspace, one element or lexia need not follow another in a logical sequence. The act of jumping from one location to another is just that: an action, not a conjunction. The reasoning behind certain links is obscure and readers must glean the underlying meaning on their own. The paratactic structure, "produced by repetition rather than sequence", (Hypertext 2.0, 186) renders closure optional.

In oral poetry, parataxis is evident in the balance or juxtaposition of two separate elements, be they themes, words, or half-lines.

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