As Vannevar Bush says of the organic associations of the brain: “Man cannot hope fully to duplicate this mental process artificially, but he certainly ought to be able to learn from it” (44). Narrative that defies linear structure and form becomes fragmented and interactive, requiring (w)reader participation (and less author control) to create meaning from the gaps, links, and physical demands. It creates a subjective reader experience while heightening reader/author relationships; it draws attention to the materiality of the text and away from plot-based narrative. As Landow says, “the act of reading will change as the nature of the reading site or mechanism changes” (4). The act of reading is already changing, as readers become more immersed in the hypertextuality of the web, the fragmented nature of text messaging, constantly bombarded by visual culture. This is not the end of books by any means, or reading at the park or in the bathtub, and even Landow says, “as one who has always done a good deal of reading reclining on sofas or stretched out on a bed, I certainly sympathize with those who do not like to read on a computer screen” (4). The meaning and metaphors created through print in postmodern literature, such as Cortazar’s Hopscotch or Calvino’s On a winter’s night a traveler or Danielewski’s House of Leaves, can only be achieved in the medium of print and often what is achieved is more surprising and amazing because of the medium. As readers of nonlinear texts, print or electronic, we must perhaps work harder, find our own meaning, our own way, but the payoff is ultimately worth it.

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