The issues in Landow's Hypertext are unquestionably of the moment: are our
technological advancements really what they purport? Or if we are already reticent
about technology, what can be salvaged from a generally regressive
Landow hails, or seems enthusiastic about, the prospects for the writerly text, as
introduced through the writings of Barthes. But what his analysis lacks (at the outset)
is a recognition of the extent to which one ball and chain is being replaced by another.
Landow's neglect of the systemic software authorship underlying any hypertext is shocking.
As he points out, there is without question a very convenient and intense tool on our
horizons. The ability to hop from text to critique to another and so on is rather remarkable. Yet the constitution of the database and the actual functioning of the "nodes and
links" to which he naively refers promise to ossify into systems more honerous than the
readerliness of the modern printed text.