3. TO COMMENT OR TO COMMAND: METATEXTUALITY AND THE PROGRAMMABLE PERFORMATIVE POWER(S)
Metatextuality is the relationship most often labeled "commentary". If we take into account the possible changes in performative power then the simple question we should be asking is: what if commentaries could have direct impact on texts they are commenting. Obviously the impact doesn't have to be of the kind its originators think it is or believe it should be. Let's say you criticize some work of art to be pervert and politically incorrect, and as a result of your activity it turns to be even more of that kind. Everything that doesn't kill it, will make it stronger. Or to put it more mildly, we might be witnessing the transition from monologic forms of metatextuality to more dialogic ones.
There are many other obvious possibilities here: we may turn any metatextual piece, the more idiotic the better, into just another layer of text or paratext with or without changing it. Basically all this comes down to the difference between commenting and commanding. Their combination can easily be self-destructive: a metatext may cause the string of signs it cites to be deleted for good and consequently destroy its own value as commentary. This value is challenged by various other reasons as well. In certain encounters with indeterminate cybertexts, commentaries may turn out to be commentaries on one's own singular experience of ephemeral constellations of signs never to be repeated again. I can almost hear the boring me-my-mine rhetoric this will lead to, so it's better to move on to our next relation.
1. INTRODUCTION: TRANSTEXTUALITY MEETS CYBERTEXTUALITY
2. ARCHITEXTUALITY AND METAMEDIA
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