The pleasure of the hypertext


  • Kristian Bankov



Text, Eroticism, Hypertext, Textualism, Semiotics, Pleasure


In this paper I examine the relation between textualism and eroticism and how this relation evolves in the digital age. The point of departure is Roland Barthes’ works on the notion of text and especially The pleasure of the text (1973), where we find enough evidence that the attitude of the French semiologist is of fetishistic character with explicit erotic connotations. Such attitude is quite representative for the whole epoch of both structuralism and post-structuralism. The age of the hypertext (and the internet in general) changes the textualists’ culture in new forms of intertextual exchange where the pleasure itself becomes object of communicative exchange. The eroticism of the hypertext is more explicit compared to the text and it is getting a myriad of forms, difficult to be put in a general model. The last chapter examines the consequences of the hypertextual reality for the educational institutions and their role in the digitalized societies.


Arcagni, S. 2016. Visioni digitali. Video, web e tecnologie. Torino: Einaudi.

Bankov, K. 2010. “Cultures of Navigation versus Cultures of Eruditionâ€. Lexia 05/06 2010. Rome: Aracne editrice S.r.l., pp. 103-123.

Bankov, K. 2011. „Technology, the Imaginary and the Transfer of Experience: between the Market and Social Networks“. Lexia 07/08 2011, pp. 255-278.

Bankov, K. 2017. “The copyright of my sensorimotor experience†In Marusek, Sarah (ed.) Synesthetic Legalities. Sensory Dimensions of Law and Jurisprudence: 180-199, London, New York: Routledge.

Barthes, R. 1972 [1957]. Mythologies. [Trans]. Annette Lavers. London: Paladin.

Barthes, R. 1975 [1973]. The Pleasure of the Text, [Trans] Richard Miller, with a Note on the Text by Richard Howard, New York: Hill & Wang.

Barthes, R. 1977 [1968]. “The Death of the Author.†In Image, Music, Text. [Trans]. Stephen Heath. New York: Hill and Wang, 142-147.

Barthes, R. 1989a [1968] “Death of the Author†In The rustle of language, Berkley & LA: University of California Press, 49-55.

Barthes, R. 1989b [1971] “From Work to Text†In The rustle of language, Berkley & LA: University of California Press, 56-64.

Carr, N. 2010. The shallows: How the Internet is changing the way we think, read, and remember. London: Atlantic.Chatfield, T. 2009. „Videogames now outperform Hollywood movies“. The Observer, Sunday 27 September 2009.

Derrida, J. 1997 [1967]. Of grammatology. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins UP.

Dichev, I. 2012. „Kultura na potocite: avtori, potrebiteli, pirati†[Culture of flows: authors, users, pirates]. The New Culture Geometry, Ivailo Dichev, Julia Rone (eds.), Sofia: Iztok-Zapad

Dosse, F. 1997. History of Structuralism, Vols. I (The Rising Sign, 1945–1966) and II (The Sign Sets, 1967–Present). Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press.

Doueihi, М. 2011. Digital cultures. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Dufour, D.-R. 2007. The Art of Shrinking Heads. The New Servitude of the Liberated in the Era of Total Capitalism. London: Blackwell.

Eco, Umberto. 1994 [1979]. The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts. Bloomington (IN): Indiana UP.

Foucault, M. (1969) “Qu’est-ce qu’un auteur?â€. Bulletin de la Société française de Philosophie 63(3), 73-104.

Freud, S. 1962 [1930]. Civilization and its Discontents, [Trans] James Stranchey, (Ed.). NY: Norton & Co. 1962.

Greimas, A. J. 1974. “L’Enonciation: une posture épistémologique.â€. Significação – Revista Brasileira de Semiótica, 1, Centro de Estudos Semióticos A. J. Greimas: Ribeirão Preto (SP), p. 09-25.

Lotman, Y. 1990. Universe of the Mind. A Semiotic Theory of Culture. London-New York: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd.

Manovich, L. 2001. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.

Manovich, L. 2013. Software Takes Command. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Marrone, G. 2010. L’invenzione del testo, Bari: Laterza.

Readings, Bill (1996) The University in Ruins. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Ricœur, P. 1991 [1970]. “What is a Text? Explanation and Understanding,†In

From Text to Action, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, p. 105-124.

Rifkin, J. 2000. The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism, Where all of Life is a Paid-For Experience, New York: Penguin/Putnam.

Sparrow, B., Liu, J., Wegner, Daniel M. 2011. “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertipsâ€. Science. 333 (6043): 776-778.




How to Cite

Bankov, K. (2019). The pleasure of the hypertext. Digital Age in Semiotics & Communication, 2, 138–158.