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The book I would like to be written, part 2

From: Michael West <mwest@cruzio.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 95 14:25:05 -2400

The book I imagine I'll one day write captures and involves the reader from the very outset (I couldn't put it down), entertaining her thoroughly (I laughed, I cried, I gripped the covers as I lay awake reading) and exciting her to new possibilities of understanding (It changed my life, it showed me a new way to think, to know, to feel) and yet, as hypertext, it will observe the following rules without intruding on the intense reality of her reading experience:
  1. A network more generally describes the hypertext than a hierarchy, which enforces direction.
  2. Texts may be thought of as units or fragments of discourse with links or the possibility of links to other texts.
  3. One way to think about context is as a constellation of texts.
  4. Alternatively, the simplest context is the single node in which meaning derives from, and inheres in, a text in itself.
  5. Meaning inheres both in the texts and between and among the texts in constellations of texts
  6. Texts may be simultaneously involved in multiple schemas or constellations of texts, contributing to different contexts of meaning.
  7. Unlike traditional narrative in which sequence determines position along a finite temporal path, hypertext redefines sequence in terms of transitional and semantical effects among a variety of contexts in a network.
  8. Given the potential multiplicity of links among texts, meaning derives from justapositional effects, exploiting irony and ambiguity in its various forms.
  9. Depending on design, sequences in hypertext may be initiated by the reader, directed by the writer or both.

Mike West