Chain Reactions

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Susan Gibb is still on the case with Kundera and hypertext. She writes:

But in hypertext, we can form loops that return us to these points of betrayal–or change, choice, etc.–and from that point, decide upon a new tactic to choose another unknown path, still significantly different from the original choice.

in response to this from The Unbearable Lightness of Being

But if we betray B., for whom we betrayed A., it does not necessarily follow that we have placated A. The life of a divorcee-painter did not in the least resemble the life of the parents she had betrayed. The first betrayal is irreparable. It calls forth a chain reaction of further betrayals, each of which takes us farther and farther away from the point of our original betrayal. (p. 92)

Kundera here focuses on the chain, indeed, a narrative chain along a path. It could indeed be that from another angle, A’s betrayal might play deeply on a sister or father, extending the narrative itself “farther away from the point of our original” node yet related or linked.

The human significance is obvious: betrayal is one path in the confluence.


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