Karin Wenz, Assistant Professor of English, University of Kassel

In the course of historical evolution, the way humans perceive their world has changed like their way of living has changed (Benjamin1963:14). The expansion of cities has brought about a new cognitive organization of perception. Perception has profoundly become disturbed by stimulus satiation. In this context, Moholy-Nagy (1947:245) writes:

"Motion, accelerated to high speed, changes the appearance of objects and makes it impossible to grasp their details. There is a clearly recognizable difference between the visual experience of a pedestrian and a driver in viewing objects. The motor car driver or airplane pilot can bring distant and unrelated landmarks into spatial relationships unknown to the pedestrian. The difference is produced by the changed perception caused by the various speeds, vision in motion".

Velocity has dispersed visual perception in discontinuous impressions of the perceived phenomena. This dispersion is mirrored in literature in the way our attitude towards reading and interpreting texts has changed. Like the model of the iconic sign, the model of narrativity is being derived from everyday perception. This coherence between perception and narrativity has lead to a change of style in the arts at the beginningof our century (Smuda 1992), which demands the competence of the reader.The reciprocal influence of the different arts broadens the possibilitiesof  narrative space in completely new ways.The same increase of velocity and stimulus satiation is achieved in the medium of hypertext, which leads to the difficulty that we deal with a space which stretches our capacity of imagination. Therefore, the hypertextual data space is virtually constructed as a landscape by metaphors of space which we also use inother fields of experience in order to make us acquainted with the new medium.

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