Sometimes, new findings appear that make one wonder how anyone could have believed otherwise. Research on hypertext fiction has revealed students’ anxiety and apprehensiveness, but Hans K. Rustad of Hedmark University College in Norway believes that this aversion demonstrates only that they are unfamiliar with the form, not that the form itself is flawed. His essay argues for an understanding of hypertext from four different reading approaches: semantic orientation of reading, gaining experience, self-reflection, and absorption.
His essay could prove to be key in unlocking some of the mysteries of teaching hypertext, and it refutes the belief that students inherently find hypertext reading difficult and overwhelming. Indeed, how heavily can we rely, when thinking about the future of literature, on observations of subjects who have never before read much literary hypertext?