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Print pathways and interactive labyrinths: How hypertext narratives affect the act of reading.

Author: Jane Yellowlees Douglas; Gordon M Pradl
Publisher: 1992.
Dissertation: Ph. D. New York University 1992
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Publication:Dissertation Abstracts International, 53-08A.
Summary:
This dissertation examines the ways in which hypertext affects the act of reading. In the new and, as yet, convention-less environment of hypertext space, it is possible to perceive aspects of the transaction between reader and text normally not visible amid the familiar trappings of print environments, enabling us to answer the questions: how do readers make meaning? How do readers negotiate the "blanks" or "gaps"
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Details

Genre/Form: Academic theses
Dissertations, Academic
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Jane Yellowlees Douglas; Gordon M Pradl
OCLC Number: 873963484
Notes: Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 53-08, Section: A, page: 2777.
Chairman: Gordon M. Pradl.
Description: 1 online resource (250 pages)

Abstract:

This dissertation examines the ways in which hypertext affects the act of reading. In the new and, as yet, convention-less environment of hypertext space, it is possible to perceive aspects of the transaction between reader and text normally not visible amid the familiar trappings of print environments, enabling us to answer the questions: how do readers make meaning? How do readers negotiate the "blanks" or "gaps" in the text which nearly all theorists claim are endemic to the act of reading? Are endings essential to the process of reading? Do hypertext readers have more autonomy than readers of print narratives? How will the use of hypertext in education affect the definition of learning?

After exploring the ways in which hypertext narratives resemble and differ from traditional and avant garde print narratives, the dissertation examines the strategies of readers attempting to piece together a short story cut into segments and how our perceptual inclination toward seeing connections in the world around us enables us to see multiple connections between elements in a text. The study goes on to examine the meaning making process of two sets of readers--one reading a print short story and one an interactive version based on the print story--and the ways in which the readers' respective processes of coming to understand the text reflect their tendency to arrive at interpretive decisions based upon their perception of the relationship between the significance and "place" of textual nodes in hypertext's virtual, three-dimensional space.

Finally, an exploration of the strategies which readers use when confronting texts which have no physical "ending" uncovers the link between the act of prediction as one of the chief constituents of the process of meaning making and our need to anticipate endings--even when the sort of determinate, physical closure inherent in print narratives is deferred or displaced. At the same time, the network of connections and nodes which forms the hypertext can oblige readers to participate in something resembling a game between reader, text, and unseen author, where readers must anticipate authorial intention in order to navigate through the author's "intentional network."

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