Annotated Bibliography 1
Chapter 5: Reconfiguring writing in ‘Hypertext 2.0: The convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology’ by George P. Landow.
Firstly, Landow talks about Disorientation. This can be seen either as a problem (crippling and dis-enabling) or in a positive light. Conklin’s definition of disorientation: it is "the tendency to lose one’s sense of location and direction in a nonlinear document". There are three aspects to this (1) Confusion about where to go, (2) or having decided on a destination, how to get there, and (3) not knowing the boundaries of the information space that one is exploring. This in a sense speaks of the problem of disorientation – readers lose their bearings while navigating and this blocks completion of a task one has set for oneself or that has been set for one by others.On the flip side, Landow also speaks of aesthetic disorientation, in which disorientation is a matter of freedom (love of possibilities p120) and human development. i.e. it has a positive effect on writers. The hypertext environment now signals the "radical becoming of a new, more fluid subjectivity, one that is digital, intuitive, nomadic and desperately trying to break free from the materiality of a fettered culture". (p120)
Landow ends of in the last part of the chapter by talking about how we should write hypertext – develop a rhetoric and stylistics if hypertext writing. This addresses what he talks about in the earlier part of the chapter – disorientation. Two broad categories are mentioned here: that of ‘systems generated means of reader disorientation’ and that of ‘author-created disorientation devices’. There is some info that readers will require: orientation info, navigation info, exit/departure info and arrival/entrance info and these are discussed under the two broad categories.
This chapter has connection to the topic I am writing on as the last part of the chapter touches on how writers should write in order to give the reader the info that he requires. i.e. that of orientation, navigation, exit/departure and arrival/entrance. I also feel that the part about disorientation taking two extremes is quite interesting. After all, there are two sides to a coin and disorientation can, then, be looked at from another angle and this indeed has effects on writers in the web environment. After all, many of us are guilty of searching for a particular topic and ending up elsewhere, in sites that may not even be related to the original search whatsoever!
Landow also raises some thought-provoking questions that will help to raise awareness of related issues. On the whole, I feel that Landow has indeed brought across his point on the importance of reconfiguring the text in order to make it more accessible to readers of the hypertext.