Realism and a General Economy of the Link

Original Citation:
Miles, Adrian. “Realism and a General Economy of the Link.” Currents in Electronic Literacy Fall.5 (2001).

Realism and a General Economy of the Link

Oh, the essay uses George Bataille’s theory of the general and restricted economy as the basis of a critique of some instrumental approaches to linking in hypertext. I also point out that the idea that the link is neutral and only ever instrumental also has affinities with realist literature.

This essay was written and published as a hypertext and that has been maintained here. It sort of defeats the purpose to try to put it into the content management system I’m using here so I’ve simply edited the template and uploaded the whole lot. So follow the link below to read the essay, well, since it’s hypertext to read of it what interests you.

The essay is mirrored on this server at

It was written in Storyspace as a native hypertext, and I built an image map derived from the Storyspace map view. This image map lets you navigate to any node/page in the hypertext, but it also uses colour density to indicate which nodes have the most links (combined links in and out) as an experiment. I believed that the darkest nodes, so those most heavily linked, are probably the most significant in terms of the argument, which is the case as it turns out.

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