ABSTRACT

Hypertext seldom exists as pure text without any graphics. Today, hypertext is usually hypermedia, as it is on the World Wide Web, and hypermedia of­ fers a second challenge to the printed book. Digital media claim to achieve greater immediacy and authenticity by integrating images (and sound) with prose. Although printed books can also offer images-the ability to repro­ duce maps, diagrams, and eventually photographic images accurately was one of the great achievements of print-nevertheless, verbal text has usu­ ally contained and constrained the images on the printed page. On the World Wide Web, the images often dominate. In presenting animation and digitized video, a Web page can supplement or bypass prose altogether. In this respect hypermedia is participating in a process of remediation that has been going on for more than a century: the response of prose to the visual technologies of photography, cinema, and television. Print today is continu­ ing to remake itself in order to maintain its claim to represent reality as ef­ fectively as digital and other visual technologies. This remaking is one of the important effects of our current fascination with hypermedia.