Labyrinth of text

The medieval conception of a text is a unicursal labyrinth: it twists and turns, knotted in its convolutions, obscure a completely linear path. There is only one way to read such a linear text. Hypertexts, on the contrary, are topologically like multicursal labyrinths: there are many possible paths through, some being dead ends, and these paths fork at nodal points; they may even loop back upon themselves. While a multicursal labyrinth may only be traversed linearly — while the traces of its lines of flight are linear — its potential traversal paths, or its solution space, is both parallel, myriad, and potentially cyclic…



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John Ohno

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software.