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III:11.  Intertextuality is often cited as the modern critical term most clearly associated with and “embodied in” hypertext, but, just as clearly, intertextuality predates, even as critical concept, its cybernetic representations by a period of time which, some might argue, is equal to the entire history of literature. Going outside a “text” to other texts as a way of reading and understanding is not a notion which is dependent on a particular technology or is even, for that matter, confined to literacy (if, for these purposes, the assumption of the priority of writing in the term “text” is bracketed). In contemporary writing, intertextuality seems to me a “done deal,” an accepted and necessary part of writing practice across a wide range of discourses and genres. Beyond the promise of extreme convenience which is granted by hypertextual systems like the World Wide Web, the existence of hypertext does not add, conceptually, to our understanding of intertextuality as a strategy of reading and understanding.
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