Hypertext purpose, scope, and reader

George Landow sees hypertext as a democratizing force, a way to improve scholarship, a way to attain new levels of cooperation during the writing process, and an entirely new form of the text that can continue to change long after the author has finished typing the original words.1

Landow seems to be suggesting that every link to every page a reader could possibly follow from this paper to any other document would be included within the definition of what the original document (in this case, this very paper) consisted of.  I do not agree with anything of the sort.

The study of a poem that incorporates allusions requires a knowing reader, or least a reader with a willingness to know, while the use of a hypertext document requires an active reader.  By active reader, I mean one who is willing to follow the connections with which s/he is presented.  This requires neither previous knowledge nor excessive effort.  For a reader of a traditional text who is not inherently knowing (that is to say that he or she does not recognize and understand the allusion on his or her own), action is also required