Hyperfictional Language In Michael Joyce’s Afternoon, A Story And Megan Heyward’s Of Day, Of Night

ABSTRACT

The hypertext, a relatively new digital genre, structures texts into links and nodes. This

results in textual plasticity which gives room for different forms of stylistic

experimentations by the authors of the texts. While scholars have focused on the

structural composition and general nature of hypertexts, they have not adequately

attended to their distinctive features. This study addresses this neglect by examining

the style of the language of hyperfiction.

The study adopts Hallidayan model of Systemic Functional Linguistics, complemented

with Postmodern Literary Theory and Applied Media Aesthetics, which respectively

account for grammatical categories, stylistic experimentations, and audio-visual

effects. Two CD-ROM-based hyperfiction texts, namely, Michael Joyce’s afternoon, a

story and Megan Heyward’s of day, of night, available only in the United States of

America, are purposively selected and their verbal and non-verbal levels are explored.

The data are subjected to content analysis.

At the stylistic experimentation level, both hyperfiction texts exhibit similar stylistic

features in terms of fragmentation of text units, playfulness in presentation styles, and

deconstruction of linear temporal deixis. Beyond these features, the authors explore the

architecture of nodes and links in providing the texts with alternative reading paths that

resist the sense of definite closure in meaning-making. In Joyce’s afternoon, a story,

the alternative reading paths locate meaning within unstable contexts of situation, with

the paths, sometimes, negating one another. This situation gives way to contradictory

narrative turns which project a resistance to the sense of closure and accomplish

postmodernist aesthetics of self-cancellation and projected-world erasure. In

Heyward’s of day, of night, the existence of multiple endings and the highly interactive

nature of the narrative facilitate the text’s resistance to closure. At the grammatical

level, Joyce’s afternoon, a story is categorised as a complex text because of the vast

employment of word and group nexuses, internal nesting and rankshifted, verbless, and

complex clauses. The grammatical complexity in the text depicts postmodernist

attempts at foregrounding the processes of meaning construction and the writtenness of

the text. In of day, of night, though Heyward mainly employs simple clauses, her

employment of incomplete clauses as node titles in the “night” part of the text

indicates a resistance to closure as well as an attempt at problematising meaning. In

terms of audio-visual effects, afternoon, a story does not engage any media aesthetic

effect because it is basically alphanumeric. However, Heyward appropriates media

aesthetics such as saturation/desaturation, superimposition, imbalance screen

resolution, and music/sounds for advancing and intensifying the narrative of the

multimodal of day, of night. This multimodal nature of of day, of night portrays collage

and the carnivalistic tendencies in postmodernist aesthetics.

The hypertextual stylistic resources deployed in Joyce’s afternoon, a story and

Heyward’s of day, of night define the postmodernist nature of the texts. The creative

manipulations of linguistic and non-linguistic elements in the two texts draw attention

to how hyperfiction writing is expanding the concepts of text and language.

Stylisticians need to investigate digital texts in order to understand how digital writing

tradition is redefining linguistic and literary representations.

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APA

IDOWU-FAITH, B (2021). Hyperfictional Language In Michael Joyce’s Afternoon, A Story And Megan Heyward’s Of Day, Of Night. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/hyperfictional-language-in-michael-joyce-s-afternoon-a-story-and-megan-heyward-s-of-day-of-night

MLA 8th

IDOWU-FAITH, BIMBOLA "Hyperfictional Language In Michael Joyce’s Afternoon, A Story And Megan Heyward’s Of Day, Of Night" Afribary. Afribary, 22 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/hyperfictional-language-in-michael-joyce-s-afternoon-a-story-and-megan-heyward-s-of-day-of-night. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

IDOWU-FAITH, BIMBOLA . "Hyperfictional Language In Michael Joyce’s Afternoon, A Story And Megan Heyward’s Of Day, Of Night". Afribary, Afribary, 22 Apr. 2021. Web. 20 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/hyperfictional-language-in-michael-joyce-s-afternoon-a-story-and-megan-heyward-s-of-day-of-night >.

Chicago

IDOWU-FAITH, BIMBOLA . "Hyperfictional Language In Michael Joyce’s Afternoon, A Story And Megan Heyward’s Of Day, Of Night" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 20, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/hyperfictional-language-in-michael-joyce-s-afternoon-a-story-and-megan-heyward-s-of-day-of-night