Non-linearity as a concept dates as far back as Homer’s Illiad, with its beginning in medias res, however, non-linear structure in hypertextuality is referred to rather as
“transcend(ing) the linearity of the written text by building an endless series of imagined connections, from verbal associations to possible worlds” (Riffaterre, 1994) .
In this essay I am going to question whether the non-linear storytelling, as defined above, emerged “in an era of hypertextuality”, which I take to mean the modern world after digitization and invention of a computer. I will be drawing on case studies of a hypertext “Sunshine 69” and older conventional literary text such as Nabokov’s “Pale Fire”, which establish previous forms of non-linearity, intertextuality.…show more content… Such cross-references widen the fictional world, helping to create a more vivid picture, perhaps prompting the reader to embark on an investigation or think on the interpretations. Thus, intertextuality enables the reader to transgress the mental boundaries of a simple information consumer, but rather encourages an individual and informed response. Being the texts that were written before digitization, they prove that non-linearity had existed in the author’s minds long before hypertextuality. To continue, Landow presents two models of non-linear structures. The first one, as noted before, is rather a structure of an intertextual literature, where there is a direct path, which could branch out at some points, but then return you back to the narrative flow. This is what is presented by the modernist literature, and indeed film. In “True Detective” the story is presented to the audience from multiple different perspectives through the interviews, causing ellipsis and prolepsis, but in so doing, providing exposition and, arguably, more objectivity. Could it be considered hypertext just because it was produced after the development of a hypertext