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Joyce, "Introduction: The Comfort of Knowing" (abstract)

An overview and review of the articles Joyce has collected into the hypertextual publication Of Two Minds, including theory on how hypertext works and advice on how to work with it. He introduces coined, conflated and borrowed terminology, such as "perspectivalization," "proprioception," and "theoretical narrative," which, if somewhat bumpy and provocative, also enables the expression of his ideas:
"In each iteration of hypertext fiction the text becomes a present tense palimpsest where what shines through are not past versions but potential, alternate views."
"Our genuine culture, which is to say our experience of living in a place over time, is increasingly enacted not just in the manipulation of symbolic information but also in our increasing willingness to see our own existence as both constituted by and constituting symbolic information."
This reader found it interesting to watch Joyce track his own iterations of text and, in this introduction, to get a sense of the nomadic texts which will appear in many of these essays and "interstices." The hypertext publication allows a reader to skip the repetition if it is recognized as such; Joyce promises to gather strands and whole sections of nomadic text, and to italicize them (indicating repetition) but not to reformat the text from the numbered paragraphs, which serve for page numbers on the Internet. (Jean Jacobson.)

Return to Electronic Text: Selective Annotated Bibliography.
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Michael Hancher

Department of English, University of Minnesota

URL: http://umn.edu/home/mh/ebibjpj3.html

Comments to: mh@umn.edu

Created 13 June 1995

Last revised 17 September 1996