"It is tempting to see hypertext as realizing Barthes' utopian dreams of a writing liberated from the Author. The ability for each reader to add to, alter, or simply edit a hypertext opens possibilities of collective authorship that breaks down the idea of writing as originating from a single fixed source. Similarly, the ability to plot out unique patterns of reading, to move through a text in an aleatory, non-linear fashion, serves to highlight the importance of the reader in the "writing" of a text--each reading, even if it does not physically change the words--writes the text anew simply by re-arranging it, by placing different emphases that might subtly inflect its meanings."

"However, the vision of hypertext as the New Jerusalem of the writerly text neglects to consider the very real pleasures that come from surrendering to the discursive seductions of a masterful author. As Max Whitby notes in his article "Is Interactive Dead?," "[s]torytelling and narrative lie at the heart of all successful communication. Crude, explicit, button-pushing interaction breaks the spell of engagement and makes it hard to present complex information that unfolds in careful sequence" (41). The real allure of hypertext, it may turn out, is not its alliance with the writerly text, but with The Book, with its possibilities, through fixed links and narrow path choices, of ever more ingenious ways of directing, controlling and surprising the reader. The Author may be dead, but his ghosts maybe even more eloquent."

from electronic labyrinth: 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.