A Neo-Derridean Critique of Hypertext: The Problem of Absence and Presence

  • Between Text and Hypertext

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Since the 1990s, the rise of digital media has greatly changed our understanding of how language operates through the ever shifting media for text. Many of the early digital hypertext theorists such as Lev Manovich, George Landow, and Ted Nelson have defined hypertext largely in opposition to traditional texts. In response to this dichotomy, I look at the history of the relationship between hypertext and intertext, how theories of intertextuality led into and influenced the development of hypertextual theory, and how this led to the binary opposition
    between traditional text and hypertext. Through the deconstruction of the text-hypertext binary, I propose that all text is hypertext. From the overarching idea that all text is hypertext, I propose two subsidiary arguments: the first argument is focused on the text-hypertext relationship in that while individual examples of text and hypertext can suggest vastly different experiences in consuming different media, the effect of those experiences is vastly overstated due to the parochial view of the experience of text; the second argument shifts to look at Derrida’s assertion that the metaphysical tradition that values binary oppositions is inescapable and thus new media continue to maintain the ethnocentric centre as the Western metaphysics of presence becomes adapted into new technologies.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International