Sylvia Tomasch's article, "Mappae Mundi and 'The Knight's Tale'" is of great interest to me. It seems that my project has become about authorial/readerly control in the hypertext. This article, while not entirely topical, is a great source of thought on the issue of technological control. Tomasch analyzes the Medieval worldview as portrayed in contemporary "T-O" cartography. These maps, she points out, are not merely naive depictions of a theological world-system: they were, according to many of the cartographic writings of the time, believed to be accurate depictions of a Ptolemaic universe of concentric spheres. Tomasch analyzes Geoffrey Chaucer's "Knight's Tale" for evidence of the issues of control and worldview which she is exploring. This passage seems of utmost relevance to my project: "In the creation of this imago mundi, Theseus would seem to be following Mircea Eliade's dictum that "to organize a space is to repeat the paradigmatic work of the gods." And because he organizes a space and creates a world, he naturally expects his creation to follow his rules. Such control may ultimately be illusory, but technological fiat, especially on a grand scale, impels a movement from resistance to complicity; spectators become participants and participants become believers." (84)
Just as Marshall McLuhan said, the medium is the message. If we extend this view to hypertext, perhaps we may see that the issues of control are not as straightforward as previously thought: is the illusion of empowerment really a disguise for control?