George Landow has done much to pave the way for
the critical acceptance of hypermedia as a medium for creative
and academic writing. A noted literary theorist from Brown University,
Landow introduced the potential of hypermedia to a generation
of writers and scholars eager to explore the medium's possibilities.
His protégé includes noted hyperfiction author
Mark Amerika, who began pioneering forms of interactive writing
with such works as Grammatron, while studying hypertext
at Brown University. Landow also helped develop the Intermedia
software system in 1987, one of the first authoring tools for
creating interactive texts.
In his critical writings, Landow describes how
hypertext transforms the text into a complex network of paragraphs,
sentences and fragments of "textual units" or "lexias." The
reader's ability to freely explore this network, and disrupt
the linearity of the text enables a dramatic shift from what
he regards as hierarchical, centralized, and author-dominated
literary forms. Landow describes this new form as "intertextualities,"
a terrain where the boundaries between literary works dissolve
as they join into a single, vast "docuverse."