Sunday, February 8, 2009

hypertextual climax

I'm reading some position papers just this afternoon and I came across a good, apt phrase in Jen Green's paper: "hypertextual climax." As passage in The Public Burning, at p. 409, she says, "enacts the hypertextual climax of the novel," and that passage is the one in which the Sing Sing warden talks about "billions and billions of words [that] get spoken every day."

Although Coover's writings are not hypertexts per se (I mean, not literally linked--as on the web--so that readers can explore along 1,000 paths), Jen here--and we in our discussion the past two weeks--points out that "traditional" writing (page-to-page sequencing in a printed book) can have about it a fundamental hypertextual quality.

It must be radically open to do this, such as (in Jen's words) "a dialogue in which characters use words to talk about words."

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