Why don’t we read hypertext novels?

Abstract (in English): 

Ever since their appearance in the early 1990s, hypertext novels were presented as the pinnacle of digital aesthetics and claimed to represent the revolutionary future of literature. However, as a literary phenomenon, hypertext novels have remained marginal. The article presents some scientifically derived explanations as to why hypertext novels do not have a mass audience and why they are likely to remain a marginal contribution in the history of literature. Three explanatory frameworks are provided: (1) how hypertext relates to our cognitive information processing in general; (2) the empirically derived psychological reasons for how we read and enjoy literature in particular; and (3) the likely evolutionary origins of such a predilection for storytelling and literature. It is shown how hypertext theory, by ignoring such knowledge, has yielded misguided statements and uncorroborated claims guided by ideology rather than by scientifically supported knowledge.

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Daniel Johannes...