Highlighting the "Interactivity" of the Reading Process

I've found that technology like the WWW or electronic texts can make students more aware of their active roles as readers.  In this class, I stress that the book itself is an "interactive" technology.  It is so, I explain, because interpretation depends on an interplay between text and context that is always being renewed or even extended in the understanding of each reader.  To reinforce this lesson, I use the WWW both to distribute questions for the class's study--because I also emphasize that reading is REreading--and to broaden their context through secondary materials.  And I have my students read a contemporary hypertext fiction that is an intertext of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.  Cramer's story plays off the motifs of Carroll, and it shreds traditional notions of narrative progress even more radically than does the nonsense book.  While I allude to Joyce or Borges, my students often liken Cramer's work to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books of their childhood.

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