Of Two Minds Review -- "The Ends of Print Culture" (a work in progress)

(a work in progress)

Originally published as an electronic journal, this essay keeps its numbered paragraph formatting. Much of the information here we have seen in previous essays. Joyce italicizes the portions that have gone before so that "a reader who tires of wholesale repetitions can pass them by" (173).

Here we see a repeat of Moulthrop's suggestion that one of the dangers of hypertext is that it lets the power structure "subject itself to trivial critiques in order to pre-empt any real questioning of authority" (Moulthrop, 21). I have unwittingly used this type of a tactic in my own web-based syllabus, and write about it in a web-based term paper called The Web-Based Syllabus: Re-thinking the Politics of Initial Classroom Documents.

Joyce more clearly traces the subversive nature of electronic texts in this chapter by talking about how the newness of electronic forums and the control that hypertext offers readers often gives glimpses of the structures that print culture, through its time honored traditions, keeps hidden.

"...[the reader] can see in the hypertext how the arena is organized to marginalize and diminish her. This is the trouble with hypertext, at any level: it is messy; it lets you see ghosts; it is always haunted by the possibility of other voices, other topographies, other's governance" (179).

He again traces the distinction between exploratory and constructive hypertexts and talks again about the questions of authority, control, and authorship suggested by hypertext fictions.

The replacing of the images and information in this essay is the important thing. As we recover previously heard information interlocked in a different way we see that information differently, which clarifies some of it, while making other portions less accessible.