Cycle Pattern

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Cycles are an extremely common and important hypertext pattern. A cycle occurs each time readers return to a place they have previously visited. A few early hypertext studies considered cycles to be a sign of disorientation, but this view proved untenable: cycles are a prominent feature in conventional literature and are ubiquitous in hypertext.

Of recursus, there is hallucination, deja vu, compulsion, riff, ripple, canon, isobar, daydream, and theme and variation...Of timeshift there is the death of Mrs. Ramsay and the near disintegration of the house...Leopold Bloom on a walk, and a man who wants to say he may have seen his son die. Of the renewal there is every story not listed previously. (Michael Joyce, "Nonce Upon Some Times: Rereading Hypertext Fiction", Modern Fiction Studies, 1997. 43(3): p. 579-597. )

The prominence of cycles in hypertext fiction has led to criticism of hypertext's association with postmodernism (see CycleControversy). SculpturalHypertext was originally motivated by a desire to explore hypertext narrative in an exotic environment where cycles would be more difficult to create.

Related: CycleControversy PatternsOfHypertext HypertextGardens

-- Last edited October 27, 2002

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