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Abstract

The title of this essay may at first glance seem strange. The linkage of a computer based technology with a theory of narrative might seem incongruous; however, hypertext and what George Landow has called the 'convergence of critical theory and technology' has stimulated interest in new theories and problematics of the text and of narrative. Interest in studying the textual implications of hypertext systems has grown almost as rapidly as these systems themselves. It is not an overstatement to say that of all the technological developments of the twentieth century, the emergence of hypertext and the internet has been the most widely studied. The interdisciplinary nature of this work is perhaps its most notable feature and there is a need to see hypertext not merely as a technological phenomenon but as a system which has deep implications for many 'communications· disciplines. There have been a few pioneers whose interdisciplinary work on hypertext predates the emergence of the World Wide Web (the most famous of hypertext systems) and whose work I will outline below.

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