42 Street
Times Square

We can also think of a lexia as one of Derrida's "bites". It is detached, it's own self-contained, free standing object. Yet together these bites mimic conversation and the oral mode of communication by allowing the reader to interact and communicate, in a sense, with the text. Print technology forces us into a linear, highly impersonal mode of reading. We read to get the writer's intended meaning rather than gaining our own meaning for the work. We fall into the gaps letting the writer control us, jolt us from place to place, idea to idea, as we watch helplessly as a trusting, willing bystander.

Derrida reminds us that the author function is a construction by which we are taught to read literature by. It is essentialized by conventional teachings. It says that when we read a work by a cerain author, we come to expect a certain style, or a certain genre that we have associated with that author. When the author decides to subvert this author function, it may disorent us, cause us to be perplexed and instill a sense of vertigo. But this author function is not always necessary, we just have grown accustomed to essentializing it. It is something which we use to label things with, but as hypertext proves, the traditional notion of author and authorial control over meaning, can be very shifty at times. Hypertext, by giving the illusion that there is a person interacting with you, reclaims the oral tradition through writing. Insead of providing for a nice, neat packaging, it provokes intense thought and criticism and thus attemps to fix what Derrida sees as one of western culture's major flaws.

Hypertext reclaims the power back for the reader, a decentering of sorts. We are having a converstion right now, in that you could stop talking to me, tune in or tune out depending on what I have to say has meaning and validity to you. To allow for this selective bite-wise chewing of ideas allows for Derrida's idea of decentering be manifested. To go from a passage about murder to Derrida in a matter of milli-seconds for you to choose what to read, what to experiece. It is a ongoing conversation that you ultimately have the control over. And thus, the power of hypertext is revealed. How this work affects you is unique to you.

For Derrida, there should no longer be a center of a text. In attempt to get the reader to read in between the gaps, to read critically rather than blindly, to break out the reading patterns that the reader has become so accustomed to following without question. By playing with speech and allusion, he reconcieves the notion of the inside vs. the outside. What is thought of as the main body of a text is shown to be of little more importance than the footnote at the bottom at the page shedding light on the historical background, or of the endnote describing the work where an allusion is made from. But this Derridan idea can only be taken so far by the writen text. His theories can be taken even one step further by the hypertext medium. For there is not an essential inside or outside in the hypertext work. There is no more importance placed on these theoretical musings than on the fiction itself.

You Graduated!

go Home