From the moment it was coined, the word “hypertext” has been notoriously
difficult to define (despite its coiner’s own definition of “nonsequential
writing,” which isn’t really quite enough – sorry, Ted). The difficulty in
defining hypertext, I think, may be due to its Between qualities. All text
is hypertext, as Michael says, which is actually true. The hypertextual
precedents in our literature are endless, and, endlessly, are drawn up in
lists as soon as someone begins to get the concept and see that, Hey! it’s
been with us all along. It’s because human beings are associative in their
thinking processes that text (and all other use of language) has also
always been hypertext. What’s different about what we are currently
actually calling hypertext is the computer. This is the technology which
lets us consciously use an already fluent, but often unconscious, process.
It’s Cixous’ Betweenus; it’s the link; it’s how individuals connect and
still remain individuals; it’s the description of our age.

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