I find reading a hypertext akin to finding shapes in a cloud. One minute, the cloud clearly looks like two people in a row boat, then the wind blows and the cloud becomes a dinosaur. In a hypertext, just when an incipient shape presents itself in the text, then one clicks the mouse, and that meaning can completely change. In fact, unlike a cloudy sky, in which the context of the clouds, the sky, remains the same, the whole context of the text can change. Trying to analyze a particular hypertext, then, could be likened to trying to convince a friend that the cloud I see really does look just like a dinosaur. Even if she does see the same cloud, which I can never be sure of, she might not see the dinosaur; she may see an Indy car, instead. With all the opportuity for confusion, I understand how a little guidance or insight might be helpful for a reader drifting around in my text, St. Thecla: A Woman in Translations.


English Language and Literature