Hypertext Essay

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The phone was on top of a bookshelf in the lounge room.

Plumbers and real estate agents had mobile phones, but all you could do with them was make telephone calls.

Perhaps it was the desire to know new things, interesting, bright and lively things, no more than the attraction of novelty. Landow was the co-editor, along with Paul Delaney, of a collection called .

First published in 1991, this book described how, for a reader in a hypermedia environment, where writing could link to other writing, but also to pictures, sounds and video, a novel or a poem could open out into explanations of allusions made in the text, contextual information and critiques.

Depending on which of these three publications you happen to have selected from the newsagents, you might find words like ‘leveraging’, ‘infrastructure’, or, ‘brangelina’. A person might read the you’ll know that the key to protagonist Tess Mc Gill’s business success was just this kind of eclectic literary taste.

However fluid, a readership is a cultural entity in itself, a group that, even if only temporarily, share a place in the culture.

So what happens if you’ve never heard of Morgan Stanley, or have no idea who the Kardashians are?

What if you’re don’t who the Andrew Sisters were, what happened to the Big Bopper, and who lived at Gracelands?

What if you don’t know whether Leopold Bloom is a character or an author, or if you’ve vaguely heard of Virginia Woolf, but not of Vita Sackville West?

No biggie, anybody with a fast reliable internet connection can find that kind of stuff out in seconds.


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