2. ARCHITEXTUALITY AND METAMEDIA
Genette means by architextuality "the entire set of general or transcendental categories - types of discourse, modes of enunciation, literary genres - from which emerges a singular text." This taxonomic relation is now cybertextually challenged by ergodic discourses, textonomical genres and the concept of metamedia. At stake here is the whole necessary and unmanageable project of western poetics, be it what may, a cluster of modal, generic, formal and thematic categories and considerations, or just a general system of functions and possibilities.
Metamedia is taken here to mean that every form of digital literature could easily borrow and embed elements, devices and features previously associated with other forms of art and non-art. What are we supposed to make for example of textual movies, kinetic textual choreography, or textual architecture? They are definitely not multi- or intermedia but they don't function like traditional literary objects either although their content is still strictly textual. We are moving here in the no man's land between poetics and esthetics, a space that was not supposed to exist at all. If you want a practical example that goes even further, just observe the text to form editor at work in Christa Sommerer's and Laurent Mignonneau's Verbarium, and imagine adding to it a reverse process from form to text.
As we all know cybertext theory gives us 576 media positions or textonomical genres to describe how textual systems function. There has been no or little attempt to combine textonomical genres to their more traditional counterparts, that is, textological genres, or to study that relation. For example is hypertext fiction a new genre or mode or something else or something not so special after all - and what about the MOOs and MUDs? And should we state that Story Space and HyperCard products are of different genre? Basically, this means we should decide how to take into account the material and functional differences so foreign to western poetics for some 2500 years. The simple solution is to add a new parameter to the aforementioned cluster, the material-functional one consisting of 576 media positions. Similarly we can add our ergodic mode to those traditional narrative and dramatic ones, but that move may well cause more problems than it helps to solve because all media positions are clearly not ergodic.
There are also practical concerns whether or not we'll accept the deconstructive law of genre that there is no such thing as pure genre. We can still show the general difference between digital cybertext hybrids and print hybrids, that is, between genre blenders and genre benders. In what comes to these hybrid forms and functions, any approach has sooner or later to face their bi- and multidirectional formation and transformation processes. This leads us to boundaries and over-lapping areas between narrative and drama, poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction, and narratives and games. If we can imagine generators and other dynamic cybertextual machines crossing these borders n times to both directions, there's not much sense to continue clinging to the concept of the architext anymore. This way out is a kind of short cut or short circuit since even though we got rid of the bigger problem completely, the smaller ones are still there to be solved.
1. INTRODUCTION: TRANSTEXTUALITY MEETS CYBERTEXTUALITY
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