And here I thought it was brand-spanking new

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"Cybertext, then, is not a 'new,' 'revolutionary' form of text, with capabilities only made possible through the invention of the digital computer...Cybertext is a perspective on all forms of textuality, a way to expand the scope of literary studies to include phenomena that today are perceived as outside of, or marginalized by, the field of literature...for purely extraneous reasons." page 18 of Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature by Espen J. Aarseth


I found this passage to be the most interesting and unexpected of any in the first paragraph of Aarseth's book. However, it does seem to go along with the common theme that has recurred often in class this semester. No textuality has really been new so to speak. Sure the depth of vocabulary has expanded as new concepts and inventions require identification. Whatever the next form of communication will be will require the same thing to accompany all that emerges between now and then. All textuality has really done, from the spoken word to the digitally imprinted one of today, is evolved. 

Whether the digital evolution of communication came naturally in due course is debatable. Perhaps we evolved into the digital world earlier than expected, perhaps later. It's not really of any consequence either way. The fact is that it happened, and is happening, and that whenever we discovered it, the shift was ultimately inevitable. 

Words like blogs, the Internet, websites, etc. are new in that they had to be invented but the text that fills them is just the natural evolution of textuality. Now that the evolution has arrived, we can only adapt with it and, inevitably, evolve past it.

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