Reading Paradigms of Digital Narratives: Reception of Hypertext Fictions and Its Implications
Keywords:Reader-response; Hypertext fiction; Digital literature; Hypertextual reading.
The digital media probed the transition from page-turners to navigators of web pages through endlessly connected hypertexts, as reading has moved from papyrus to print to digital devices. Hypertext fictions are sui generis, revolutionizing aspects of authorship and readership in the literary arena. Reading hypertext fiction requires subjective responses to the medium’s semiotics and interpretation. This new form of narrative fiction renders less scholarly attention. This paper presents the dynamics of the shift in readership from print to digital media using hypertext fiction. This paper methodically emphasizes neglected issues and merits of this new genre of literature, determining the readers’ response to two digital hypertext fictions: Michael Joyce’s Twelve Blue by and Deena Larsen’s Disappearing Rain. The study was assessed through classroom discussions and questionnaires with 61 students to determine whether the hypertext fictions elevate the passivity of the reading process, the impact of its features on the readers, and whether the medium can establish its implication as a new reading paradigm. This paper implies the significance of exploring hypertext fiction as a detrimental genre in literature.
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