Cybertext: A Typology of Reading

By Tong King Lee

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 29, no.1  (Spring 2017), pp. 172-203

Lee argues for a topology of reading unique to experimental texts that focus attention on the book object, that is: the book not primarily as a repository of content but as a material artifact. Building on Espen Aarseth’s notion of the cybertext, it explores how Hsia Yü’s That Zebra can be worked through as a formation of creative geography, comparing and contrasting it to other works in Hsia’s oeuvre, particularly This Zebra. In so doing, the article rejects an interpretive-hermeneutic approach to cybertext literature, foregrounding instead the ludic and the transient, with a view to understanding how the literariness of a work can in part reside in the affordances of its textual technology.