Hypertext Narrative and Globalisation: Studying the Cultural Intersection of Carnivalesque and Altermodernism in Michael Joyce’s Twelve Blue
Globalisation has brought the world together and technology has helped it do so efficiently. It has eliminated the idea of distance by proposing virtual proximity so much that everything seems almost the same. Although this cultural homogenisation leads the path towards wider accessibility, it has also resulted in a lack of originality and uniqueness. This article aims to explore the structure of Michael Joyce’s work Twelve Blue to understand the contemporary cultural significance of hypertext narrative construction in this globalised context. By drawing from the notion of carnivalesque by Mikhail Bakhtin and altermodernism by Nicolas Bourriaud, it seeks to present the function of hypertext as that of creating singularities within a totalization of heterogeneous values. The nodal standpoint of this kind of narrative, where the chaos of the carnival and altermodernist individuality converge, represents the inherent complication of our cultural ethos faced by all individuals. The article argues that hypertexts like Twelve Blue address this complexity and writers like Joyce make sure that their work structurally replicates the dilemma of this age. Moreover, it is posited that instead of mourning the loss of a traditional reading process which had stability, Twelve Blue celebrates the newfound authority of choice with readers of a literary work. The article is thus an attempt to reconcile the hypertext narratology of Twelve Blue with our present cultural sensibility in terms of its disconnection within connection, singularity within standardisation, and chaos within stability.