Play Without Center

"Hypertext fundamentally subverts hierarchy: in electronic space, an individual lexia may inhabit, or contribute to, several text structures simultaneously (Hypertext 2.0 74)."

"At the disposal of each and of all, available on the sidewalks, isn't writing thus essentially democratic? . . . In a democratic society, there is no concern for competence: responsibilities are given to anyone at all . . .Equality is equally dispensed to equal and unequal alike. Excess, anarchy . . . with no concern for hierarchy . . .(Dissemination 144)"

Hypertext is founded on choice. Choice between links, choice between sequences, choice between connotations, a choice between intratext and trace. These choices can be made along hard lines or mixed together in countless combinations. What is always produced by this freedom to choose is the space for play. Bahktin, Barthes, and Derrida all use this term in the most positive and optimistic sense. A text that can be traversed in many angles and trajectories lets the reader to observe the multifarious faces of meaning. Hypertext reading is much like welding, where the meanings extracted from different parts of the text can be crafted and melded into a complicated web of thoughts and sensations. The experience of reading becomes a work in itself. It is an act of creation, procured through an intimate bond between cultural reading styles and unique efforts to test the limits of this mold. It requires a bold and imaginative mind--one that is willing to make the farthest leaps, the most comprehensive analyses, the zaniest interpretations, the most unorthodox paths.

Cyberspace Web Main screen critical theory