Of Two Minds Review -- A Feel for Prose: Interstitial Links and the Contours of Hypertext

Interstitial Links and the Contours of Hypertext

In this final essay, Joyce claims that "[t]he problem we face is how to write in the interstices" (242). Our print past is the contour disappearing behind and feeding the substance beneath our present position. The future of electronic text is being shaped by its origins and the social actors (we) who interact with it. Through the shaping we are reshaped. We can find ourselves again in the act of "annotation and addition," rebuilding the same text structures and thus preserving ourselves in present form, or we can move on to something else--the empowering actions of replacement, shaping and adding to the body of knowledge. Joyce again cautions here of the dangers hypertext holds in allowing "trivial critiques," the illusions of empowerment. The way to "write the interstices" for Joyce is by working with constructive hypertexts.
"A fully coextensive, truly contructive electronic text will present the reader with opportunities for capturing the figure of connection at its interstices, the evolving contour must be manifest for the reader so she can recognize, resist, appropriate, possess, replace, and deploy the existing contour not just in its logic and nuance but also in its plasticity. She should be able to mold and extend the existing structure at each point of replacement and to transform it to her own uses" (244).

As in all cases, at the end of this collection or essays, we are left to decide what Joyce's vision of the present and future or electronic writing means to us as students, teachers, readers, and authors who interact with electronic texts. What will we do with our two minds?