Nonlinear reading
The Orcherd of Syon, Titus and Vespasian, and Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes
in Participatory reading in late-medieval England

This chapter compares how the invitation to read nonlinearly, familiar in hypertext media today and made explicit in The Orcherd of Syon, is used to elicit and to represent reading practices across late medieval English secular as well as devotional literary works that also include Titus and Vespasian and John Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes, in explicit, implied, and hybridized ways. In addition, the discourse evoked by invitations to read nonlinearly illuminates how medieval writers conceived of their readers as agentive participants in the work of textual interpretation. Finally, nonlinear reading gives rise to concepts traced across subsequent chapters, relying as it does upon a discourse of mobility, space, and temporality.

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