Discourse-as-discoursed

Dr. Karin Wenz, English Department, University of Kassel

Following Liestol (1994), Genette's discourse - story dichotomy has to be extended with hypertexts to cover a third aspect: the discoursed text, or, as he calls it, "discourse-as-discoursed" (Liestol 1994: 96). The passage from one node to the other is based on the selection and combination of elements. This combination linearizes entities of a spatial, networked configuration of nodes and links. Such linearization can be compared to linearization processes which underlie the transfer of complex and simultaneous nonverbal perceptions into language. Different possibilities of selection in different situations create a multiplicity of linear discourses. This virtual multiplicity of linearities depend on different reader perspectives and contexts which can be chosen. Therefore, multiplicity of linearity instead of non-linearity should be the key word in discussing the reading process in hypermedia. "non linear is an empty term in the discourse on hypermedia that only shows how preoccupied writers on the subject have been with defining hypermedia in opposition to traditional media" (Liestol 1994: 110).

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