1. INTRODUCTION: TRANSTEXTUALITY MEETS CYBERTEXTUALITY
"Cybertext palimpsests" continues the study begun in my two previous DAC papers on narratology and cybertext theory. If we wish to make sense of any individual text we must be able to situate it in relation to literary possibilities as well as to other texts. The emphasis has this time shifted from individual texts and users to the changing relations between texts and between users. The basic assumption is still the same, that especially the dynamic digital cybertexts are capable of expanding and rearranging both transtextual and intersubjective dimensions of literature (texts).
First we'll map out the inevitable changes in the field of transtextuality by following Genette's well-known studies and examining all five branches of it (archi-, inter-, para-, meta- and hypo/hypertextuality). Unlike static hypertexts and print literature dynamic digital cybertexts contain all these relations always already to themselves, that is, between their various phases, versions and mutations. This double identity based on temporal sequencing makes them powerfully active transtextual machines capable of having much more complex sets of relations especially to each other than what has been generally or traditionally thought. For this reason alone it is not enough to merely rewrite and expand Genette's concepts.
From the cybertextual perspective we should also make a clear distinction between interpretative and other relations between texts. The latter are concrete, mechanic and programmable, the former are those of traditional print transtextuality, expanded or not by the variety of new possibilities opened up by the digital media in general and cybertext theory in particular. Interpretative relations between texts can be (potentially) altered only in dynamic cybertexts (by adding, removing or otherwise changing scriptons) in contrast to print and hypertext. Within the latter (group) there's a crucial difference between on-line and off-line hypertexts. In the former environment (explicit) links and transclusions can be said to function as explorative forms of transtextual connections. Similarly, there perhaps exists configurative and textonic connections between texts. This may sound familiar and it is intended to sound that way since it might be tempting to find an analogue between the ways scriptons are revealed and generated from textons, and the ways these textons are generated from other textons which we may then call inter- or transtextons. I know this may very well be the end of transtextuality as we know it, but I feel fine. However, the analogue is far from complete, and we shall postpone discussing it until the concluding section of this presentation. For now it may be useful to differentiate between interpretative relations, explorative connections, configurative affects and textonic impacts.
2. ARCHITEXTUALITY AND METAMEDIA
3. TO COMMENT OR TO COMMAND: METATEXTUALITY AND THE PROGRAMMABLE PERFORMATIVE POWER(S)
4. PARATEXTS: TO SERVE AND TO PROTECT
5. INTERTEXTUALITY AND THE METAPHYSICS OF LINKS
6. HYPERTEXTUALITY AND THE TRULY TRANSTEXTUAL MACHINES
7. FROM CYBERTEXT TO CYBERTEXT AND BACK AGAIN