Nonlinear, on the other hand, would not resemble a line, resulting in something more than one-dimensional. Aarseth states: “A nonlinear text is an object of verbal communication that is not simply one fixed sequence of letters, words, and sentences but one in which the words or sequence of words may differ from reading to reading because of the shape, conventions, and mechanisms of the text” (51).

In opposition to the idea that text must have a fixed beginning, middle, and end, among others, Aarseth offers: “I argue that the lessons of nonlinear literature show us a textuality different from our readings (and our readings of ‘reading’), more fundamental than our messages, and, through the evolving rituals and technologies of use and distribution, subject to many types of change” (53). He does not see linear and nonlinear texts as binary opposites, but throughout his writings uses the term “text” in a broader sense than more tradition textual semantic theorists (and this paper will as well).

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