Hypertext refers to any text on a computer or electronic device that contains references (that is, hyperlinks) to other text(s) or resources that the reader/user can immediately access. The technique has been used widely in electronic literature, most famously by way of hypertext fiction (see, for example, Michael Joyce's pioneering hypertext novel afternoon, a story. According to George Landow (1992), a digital and literary theorist who long stood at the forefront of critical hypertext theory, hypertext allows us, as readers and critics, to develop reading and writing practices that work towards “abandon[ing] conceptual systems founded on ideas of center, margin, hierarchy, and linearity and replac[ing] them [with] ones of multilinearity, nodes, links, and networks” (1). Landow stresses that “hypertext blurs the boundaries between reader and writer” (4), and engages with an “active, intrusive reader [who] can annotate a text” (11), rather than a passive reader who consumes even as s/he reads critically.

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