4. PARATEXTS: TO SERVE AND TO PROTECT
Paratexts are heterogeneous elements that lie on the threshold of the text and which help to direct and control the reception of a text by its readers. These include peritexts like titles, prefaces and notes, and epitexts, situated outside of the text in question, such as interviews and publicity materials. In digital cybertexts this dimension should be discussed in relation to various interface issues as well as to conventions, manuals, protocols, and explicit guidelines, help-files and etiquette given to users and readers to consult while approaching texts and other users.
Instead and in what comes to traditional paratexts, we can already conceive some new practices. Firstly the possibility of paratextual takeover, that is, a text that is merely a paratext (I'm not referring to Xanadu here) or a series of them, a promise not kept in a way that is unverifiable to any user, a conceptualist work of literature, a singular version of general hype surrounding and contextualizing the actual text. In such a case there's no access from paratext to the actual text that may or may not be exist, and a successful paratext will be there to convince its readers of their incompetence as readers. Another obvious possibility is to write adaptive or serial paratexts that draw consequences from the reading habits of users. We can imagine prefaces that begin by stating now that you have read this work twice I think you'd not avoidů And thirdly, what kind of a paratext or metafictional device is an agent system that scouts the rest of the text for its current user, master or slave, and perhaps exchanges information with other agents in the process?
1. INTRODUCTION: TRANSTEXTUALITY MEETS CYBERTEXTUALITY
2. ARCHITEXTUALITY AND METAMEDIA
3. TO COMMENT OR TO COMMAND: METATEXTUALITY AND THE PROGRAMMABLE PERFORMATIVE POWER(S)
5. INTERTEXTUALITY AND THE METAPHYSICS OF LINKS
6. HYPERTEXTUALITY AND THE TRULY TRANSTEXTUAL MACHINES
7. FROM CYBERTEXT TO CYBERTEXT AND BACK AGAIN